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A non-religious Christmas celebration of comedy, science and music recorded live at London's Hammersmith Apollo in December 2009. Stand-up comedian and humanist Robin Ince is joined by a ... See full summary »
Academic freedom is being suppressed, says Ben Stein. He contends that professors from around the United States are being fired from their jobs for promoting, or even exploring the possibility of, intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinism. Stein interviews the expelled academics and other supporters of intelligent design. He also interviews the scientists in the mainstream, who support Darwinism. Stein links Darwinism to Nazism, Communism, eugenics and abortion. Vintage clips of educational films and Hollywood movies are used to illustrate points in a satirical way. Written by
Preview screenings for the movie were held for churches and other Christian groups months in advance, and by invitation only. After a movie critic was inadvertently allowed to view the film early, resulting in a negative review, a policy of requiring viewers to sign nondisclosure agreements was implemented at these screenings. Closer to release, an "RSVP" site was set up to allow members of the public to view the movie in a near-finished state. One of these was evolutionary biologist and Expelled interviewee Paul Zachary Myers. Although ejected from the screening, his anonymous guests - including fellow interviewee, biologist Richard Dawkins - were able to view the movie. See more »
The film presents Darwin's writing as a driving force behind the Nazi ideologies. In fact, the Nazis denounced and banned most of Darwin's work. See more »
It'd be nice to see the scientific establishment lose some of its prestige and power. It'd be nice to see other questions being opened up. Above all, it'd be nice to have a real spirit of self-criticism penetrating the sciences.
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Amongst this films multitude of sins you can count quote mining (contorting information from even Darwin himself), the blatant misrepresentation of Evolution (which has nothing to say abut the origin of life) and the rather offensive suggestion that being an atheist results in a lack of morality to the extent that we may harbour genocidal tendencies.
For the record the term 'Darwinist' is redundant. There is only the theory of Evolution. It is not a cult of personality but rather a scientific concept involving the work of thousands of scientists over hundreds of years. Whatsmore, it is a bit rich to make an emotive plea for free speech in terms of a 'level playing field' considering that religion does not exactly have a stellar record in such matters. For example the stagnant knowledge sink of the dark ages is the true face of the religious mind when it comes to principles such as 'free speech'. In Science if you cant back up what you say with evidence then it is of no use to the system. This damningly renders Expelled as a whiney, erroneous film which is thick on rhetoric and wafer thin in terms of anything useful or insightful.
Plagued by dishonesty and misrepresentation this film lacks the very moral values it claims to promote (for examples check out the trivia on IMDb.com). Overall I would say that Expelled will be looked back on by future generations and probably ridiculed and puzzled over in equal measure. 'Did people really used to think like that?' I am afraid so.
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