Jeffrey Kluger’s review of EXPELLED in TIME Magazine is on balance negative. Interestingly, though, he makes clear something of what is motivating EXPELLED:
In fairness to Stein, his opponents have hardly covered themselves in glory. Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism. Biologist P.Z. Myers, for example, tells Stein that religion ought to be seen as little more than a soothing pastime, a bit like knitting. Books such as Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion often read like pure taunting, as when Hitchens pettily and pointedly types God as lowercase god. Tautology as typography is not the stuff of deep thought. Neither, alas, is Expelled.
On the other hand, Kluger is clueless about the the current disarray of evolutionary theory, especially chemical evolution:
He [Stein] makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution, asking, for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth’s primordial soup. The answer is it couldn’t–and it didn’t. Organic chemicals needed eons of stirring and slow cooking before they could produce compounds that could begin to lead to a living thing.
Come again? Take some organic chemicals, slow cook them, give enough time, and out pops life? This is a scientific theory? No it’s not. This is an article of speculative faith. There is no materialistic theory of life’s origin. Stein is right and anyone like Kluger who suggests otherwise is bluffing.