Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Tom Bethell reviews “Expelled” in the American Spectator

arroba Email

No Intelligence Allowed!
By Tom Bethell
Published 2/19/2008 12:07:57 AM

It’s not often that I attend private screenings, so when I was invited to see the director’s cut of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, starring our own Ben Stein, I jumped at the chance. It was shown in downtown Washington, D.C. at the Goethe Institute. I didn’t even know that such a place existed, but then downtown Washington has been rebuilt in recent years, with whole neighborhoods reconstructed. It’s actually beginning to resemble a real city.

The film, a documentary, is about scientists and researchers who acknowledge the scientific evidence for the intelligent design of life and who have been ostracized or denied tenure as a result. In a word, they have been “expelled” from the academy.

Read more

CoU, You will find that the film does not mislead. That is the bottom line. If Stein is meant to be the "narrator" of this story, he must be present to narrate. If my memory serves, the movie is only about two hours long. Certainly, you don't believe that those interviews all happened in those two hours, or worse yet, are happening in real time. It all goes back to how badly you don't want to engage in the ideas being discussed. The charge of infotainment must be a joke. Do you really think that documentaries simply document? At the beginning of the film we find poor Ben writing with chalk on the blackboards of what appears to be a university lecture hall to the effect, "I will not question Darwinsim." Do you really think that Ben got in trouble because he asked an impertinent question during the lecture. Oh poor, lamentable Ben, at this rate he may never graduate. Tim
What if it is discovered that Stein didn't make up the questions either? What if it is discovered that the people who genuinely care about this topic were the producers of the movie, and not Stein himself? Given that the people interviewed were handed the questions prior to the interview, would the answers to the questions have changed in any way if Stein had asked the questions or someone else? If so, why? If not, WHAT THE HECK DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!! The fact that you get distressed is painfully unimportant. bFast
Cloud of Unknowing: How many fat free soy lattes have you consumed today? Dembskian
What the heck difference does it make!?
The difference between a documentary and infotainment. It's distressing to me that ID advocates so often justify duplicity with tu quoque. I believe that transparency is the only right choice, irrespective of the behavior of one's adversaries. Cloud of Unknowing
Tim, "First, Stein conducted the interviews. He was present at them." Cloud, "Associate producer Mark Mathis did most of the interviews." What the heck difference does it make!? It would make a difference if on the show Stein asked different questions than was answered by the interviewee -- it would be much more darwinian. bFast
I believe in creation, Pan, and I am an individual, not an easily-dismissed category. Furthermore, I believe it would amount to false witness if I were to engage in the socio-political tactic of pushing "intelligent design" in lieu of my true belief. Tim, you have been hoodwinked. Associate producer Mark Mathis did most of the interviews. As he said to an interviewer from the Stanford Review (Feb 8), "I’ve gone through a couple years of really intensely studying and analyzing this topic, and interviewing scientists all over the world on this subject." P.Z. Meyers, for instance, was interviewed by Mathis, and not Ben Stein. Cloud of Unknowing
Wait a second . . . CoU . . . Clarence First, Stein conducted the interviews. He was present at them. Second, of COURSE you edit out the boring stuff and create a narative, what else? Third, Ernst Haeckel and his embryos, nuff said. Tim
PannenbergOmega, you wrote (7): "As a Darwinist you must be aware of how Darwinians manipulate the data all the time." I'm not sure I know of even one example. Perhaps you'd care to let me know what you consider is the most obvious example of Darwinians manipulating data? Clarence
Assembled: CloudofUknowing has clearly bought in to the Darwinist propaganda hook, line and stinker. Somebody willing to explain how an ad hominem against an ID advocate is pretty low - even for a Darwinist? Somebody? chuckhumphry
"I fully expected the film to be edited to create the impression that Ben Stein conducted the interviews himself." Standard darwinian tactic: attack the messenger; don't address the message. It's getting old. shaner74
Cloud of Unkowning: As a Darwinist you must be aware of how Darwinians manipulate the data all the time. Not that that is the case with Expelled. PannenbergOmega
I fully expected the film to be edited to create the impression that Ben Stein conducted the interviews himself. The reviewer seems to have been duped.
I can only say that [Stein's] interviews, conducted in a wide variety of locations, from Paris to Jerusalem and from London to Seattle, are outstanding.
Am I getting this right? First you film the dull interviews. Then you pore over the footage you've got and create after the fact a script for an incisive and comic "interviewer" who wasn't present at the interviews. Finally, you hire an actor to perform the script and appear in additional scenes. Cloud of Unknowing
This is awesome, I hope it plays on the two coasts. I really hope there aren't protests, outside the theater. I live in the Northeast, so you guys can imagine. PannenbergOmega
Bethell's article rang true. And Jack G., just some more "trailer" for you to salivate over . . . the Darwinists and their crystals . . Dawkins whining .. music from Pink Floyd's "The Wall" Berlinski reclining and spouting wisdom . .. Some great animation of complex structures . . and more . . And of course, Ben Stein's reactions shots are Oscar worthy! I suspect that I am preaching to the choir, but you should see this movie. Better yet, promote it in your town by asking your local theatre manager to screen it. (caveat lector, I saw the rough cut . . .) Tim
It occurred to me recently that this movie may turn out to be a blockbuster if only because all the Darwinists/atheists will want to see it just so they can pick it apart and badmouth it. Expelled II, the sequel, can just be documentary about the reaction to Expelled I. And so on. :-D Mapou
I haven't looked forward so much to a movie since LOTR. Jack Golightly
Awesome Peter

Leave a Reply