Expelled Critics: So Bored They Can’t See Straight”

This from Martin Cothran is the review of Expelled I wish I had been a good enough writer to do. It includes:

In fact, ID critics seem to find it singularly profound to judge this movie on criteria that have little to do with the purpose of the movie. The movie doesn’t prove ID; the movie doesn’t give an accurate and detailed scientific description of this or that; the movie doesn’t give a balanced treatment of the issue; yada, yada, yada. Of course, these are not things the movie even purports to do, much less attempt. This is not a movie about intelligent design or evolution. This is a movie about the debate over intelligent design and evolution. Any criticisms that don’t take account of this are simply nonsensical and irrelevant.

If you slog through the comments from critics and keep your eye peeled, you can find an occasional criticism that, right or wrong, actually belongs in a movie review. One of these rare specimens is the charge that the film is “boring.” C’mon. Unless you fall within the category of totally ignorant of the issue of evolution and uncaring (in which case you didn’t buy a ticket to go see the movie in the first place), you’re going to be mad–either at the Darwinists’ ideological cartel, or at the producers for making the movie. You’re either going to be cheering Ben Stein on or gnawing on knuckles in frustration. But bored? No way.

Tom Gilson

Vice President for Strategic Services, Ratio Christi Lead Blogger at Thinking Christian Editor, True Reason BreakPoint Columnist

You may also like...

11 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    That hit the nail on the head. One entertaining criticism I heard was from Steve Merskey on the “Sixty Second Science” podcast. He refers to it in sneering tones as Ben Stein and his “cronies'” “crock-umentary”. And then goes on to criticize with even more loaded rhetoric. So much for scientific and objective reviews. Of course he didn’t address the primary thesis of the movie.

  2. Frank says:

    I enjoyed the documentary and it is clear that there really are two distinct world views and that Stein is correct – the “scientific” point of view has totally bought into the atheist, evolutionist position. The result is a culture of death that has lost the integrity of scientific inquiry and embraced the kool-aid of abortion and eugenics. Cheers to Stein for having the courage to call them on it!

  3. Scott says:

    Don’t mean to put this here, but I don’t know where else to check.
    Does anyone know how the Angus Menuge/PZ Myers debate when that happened on the 19th of April?


  4. Olorin says:

    Frank said: “the “scientific” point of view has totally bought into the atheist, evolutionist position.”

    Of course, when the movie presents only interviews with atheist scientists, and you choose not to do any outside investigation, and your natural proclivities tend toward this view anyway, it is very easy to slide into the scientist=atheist position. Premise Media did not interview any famous evolutionary biologists who profess a Christian faith, such as Francis Collins, Ken Miller, or Frank Ayala. Oh, wait—they did interview one Christian evolutionary biologist by mistake. But they discovered their error in time and deleted his interview in the film….

  5. Tom Gilson says:

    Well, I think there’s some truth to that. I would not have chosen the word “scientific” to describe that worldview, but rather something like “materialist scientific.”

    The movie did not cover every worldview, that’s for sure. It highlighted a particular debate between a particular set of parties, a debate that is quite significant even though it’s true there are other positions one could choose. But you’re right, Olorin, they did not look at every position.

    Who was the Christian whose interview they deleted? I wasn’t aware of that.

  6. Olorin says:

    That a prominent Christian evolutionary biologist was interviewed for “Expelled” came out in Scientific American’s interview with producer Mark Mathis. I don’ t recall the name, but it might have been Francis Collins. When asked why Mathis deleted the interview, he said that including it would only confuse the issue. (I can’t find a transcript, and the podcast is over an hour long.)

    Granted, one can’t include all world views. But, the movie seeks to make the point that evolutionary biologists are atheists, then deliberately drops an interview with a prominent Christian evolutionary biologist that would undermine that position. I’m sorry; that goes beyond omitting one of many positions—that is dishonest.

    You, Tom, might have replaced “scientist” with “materialist scientist,” but the movie very pointedly did not. The logic of the movie can be stated very simply:
    (1) Evolution holds that the best adapted individuals survive.
    (2) Hitler slaughtered groups of people whom he considered inferior.
    (3) Hitler’s program was evil.
    (4) Therefore—
    (a) Evolution is incorrect, and
    (b) Scientists who accept evolution are evil.

  7. Tom Gilson says:

    Ummm… did you even see the movie, Olorin?

  8. Charlie says:

    Pantalaimon might have seen a version in a different world.

  9. Olorin says:

    See it? Even though I had to fight for a seat with the other five (5.000) people in the theater!

    Of course you noticed the lighting. All the “good guys” were shown in normal lighting, while the evilutionists were darker and lit from below—cues for a sinister effect. Dawkins was shown getting makeup applied, while the good guys appeared already made up—thus portraying Dawkins as artificial and arrogant. Don’t tell me you didn’t notice. Go watch the movie again, with an eye out for the subtle and not-so-subtle cinematographic techniques used to paint evolution and biologists as evil. (Then get the DVD for “Flock of Dodos”. Even though Randy Olson makes it plain that he disagrees with ID, he does not portray any of the ID people as evil or associate them with religious or other irrelevant institutions.)

    Fortunately, 94% of all the reviewers (Rotten Tomato statistics) caught the tricks and faulty logic in “Expelled”—including a number of Christian sites. Make that 100% of their “major reviewers.” Or are they all involved in the conspiracy as well?

    Let me put this in a more personal context. A researcher friend grew up in Communist Viet Nam. He has no religious background at all, but he is curious about Christian beliefs, and seems interested. But he keeps asking me, “why do they lie about evolution?” I tell him it’s only a fringe group, but he’s not convinced.

  10. Pantalaimon says:

    Charlie Said: “Pantalaimon might have seen a version in a different world.”

    This is quite possible. There seem to be several different versions of the movie and of the DVD. I’ve heard, for example, that earlier pre-release screenings included the original Harvard “Inner Life” video, while the released version does not. And some say that part of the stolen John Lennon song was cut.

    Charlie is correct in that “Expelled” does seem to be from a different world. One that does not correspond to reality.

  11. Pauli Ojala says:

    I wish an analogous documentary film should also be made concerning the DINOGLYFS or dinolits:

    It seems that the ancient man not only saw but also documented the last megafauna (gigafauna, I should say).

    Bruce Albers it was who first accepted from his post as the president of the National Academy of Sciences USA that the biological machinery can be called as such, machinery, without asserting to metaphora. He gave the students that license in 1998. Other animations on the tiny cellular machineries apart from the Expelled movie can be seen in here:

    Anyway: It is interesting that it is the People of the Book who once more are the initiative spectators who have the balls to question the ambient amen and go against the loudy majority. Not the first time. Here’s some statistics and charts regarding the success of the Jews in science and technological innovations when the others were too stubborn to change their minds:

    [email protected]
    Biochemist, drop-out (Master of Sciing)

%d bloggers like this: