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Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed - documentary DVD review
Rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 1 stars
Featuring: Ben Stein, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Eugenie C. Scott, Margaret Sanger
Director: Nathan Frankowski   Studio: Premise
DVD release: 21 October 2008   Runtime: 95 min. (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0), Fossil Hunter, "An Important Message From Ben Stein: Academic Freedom Petition," Expelled: The Book, Practical Applications, Theatrical trailer, Bonus music tracks by Andy Hunter

Ben Stein stars as the host of this superficial investigation of why Intelligent Design doesn't get a fair shake in the scientific community. As I understand it, the thesis of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is that people have been fired from their jobs in the science sector when they embraced or uttered the theory of Intelligent Design, or "ID" as it's more casually known. That thesis is examined superficially in the first act. The scientists are interviewed, each story of woe revealed briefly.

In the second act, there are several mentions of flaws in Darwinism, the theory of evolution of species by natural selection. There aren't examples given of the flaws, just the mention that it is flawed. Once that bit is out of the way, the second act gets its hands dirty by associating Darwinism with Hitler and the Nazis. Stein ("Bueller? Bueller?") visits Hadamar, a clinic in Germany used to house the mentally ill and handicapped until they could be sent to the gas chamber and sometimes dissected. It's a hateful place and one that should be visited lest its lesson be forgotten. Stein uses this opportunity to draw a direct line between Darwinism and the crimes perpetrated here. It's a good tactic for a film to get its viewers emotionally outraged and then show them where they can focus their hatred. I think Hitler did a pretty good job of that using the Jews as scapegoats. Well done, Stein. You've shown us that the study and belief in Darwinism is a slippery slope that leads to atheism, eugenics and Naziism. Plain and simple: Darwinists devalue human life.

The third act brings things 'round to the main thesis again, saying that freedom has been expelled - freedom of thought, imagination, belief. I'm not buying it. Fact is, all of the people that Stein mentions in this film were not expelled for their beliefs in ID. They were not persecuted for their beliefs as stated in the film, which is why they didn't really let them expound too much on the details.

I don't think there's anything wrong with being a Darwinist as well as a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hiindu. Whatever you believe is okay with me. The main difference between ID and evolution is that there is evidence for the latter, while the former does not enjoy the same quality. The thing about scientists is that they're open-minded about theories and enjoy being proven wrong. A wrong theory is a door that is closed, leaving more to explore. Bring up a reasonable theory of Intelligent Design and submit it for peer review and see what happens. Just don't vilify Darwinists as Nazis. That shows no intelligence.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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