Ben Stein’s “Expelled”: Not a Movie to be Tossed Aside Lightly, But Hurled with Great Force

Graphic for the movie “Ben Stein: Expelled (No Intelligence Allowed)”

Ben Stein has had an interesting career so far: law professor, economics writer, Nixon speechwriter, Nixon apologist, television show host and movie actor (you might recall his famous scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in which he talks about “voodoo economics” and the Laffer curve, boring his class to sleep), and it’s going to remain interesting — if dead wrong — for some time, thanks to the upcoming release of the “documentary” in which he appears: Expelled, a film that claims that “Big Science” is squelching the theory that he feels is correct: that of Intelligent Design. The movie goes to some incredible lengths to discredit “Darwinism” (the code word that ID proponents use for the theory of evolution), right up to blaming evolution for things like the Holocaust and Planned Parenthood. Its release date is April 18th, the date on which Charles Darwin (the central figure in the movie’s demonology) died.

Here’s the extended trailer (7 minutes and 36 seconds) for Expelled:

And here’s the short version:

There’s an article in Scientific American on Expelled that’s worth reading: Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Integrity Displayed. It does a pretty good job of explaining the bunk in the film, most notably the bit about the theory of evolution leading to the Holocaust:

The most deplorable dishonesty of Expelled, however, is that it says evolution was one influence on the Holocaust without acknowledging any of the other major ones for context. Rankings of races and ethnic groups into a hierarchy long preceded Darwin and the theory of evolution, and were usually tied to the Christian philosophical notion of a “great chain of being.” The economic ruin of the Weimar Republic left many Germans itching to find someone to blame for their misfortune, and the Jews and other ethnic groups were convenient scapegoats. The roots of European anti-Semitism go back to the end of the Roman Empire. Organized attacks and local exterminations of the Jews were perpetrated during the Crusades and the Black Plague. The Russian empire committed many attacks on the Jews in the 19th and early 20th century, giving rise to the word “pogrom.” Profound anti-Semitism even pollutes the works of the father of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, who reviled them in On the Jews and Their Lies and wrote, “We are at fault in not slaying them.” I don’t think Protestantism is accountable for the Holocaust, either, but whose ideas were most Lutheran Germans of the 1930s more familiar with: Darwin’s or Luther’s?

I’ll watch the film once it’s leaked onto BitTorrent; I’d rather not encourage Stein and company by giving them any money.

On that note, I’ll leave you with this still from Family Guy:

Family Guy scene showing creationists in relation to the retarded

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