Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

( 26 )

Overview

Intrigued by the recent trend of scientists, journalists, philosophers, and teachers who have been ostracized and discredited for daring to suggest that humankind may be the product of intelligent design rather than a random fluke in the cosmic scheme of things, Ben Stein sets out on a journey to investigate the supposed persecution of the many by the select few. Stein asserts that in recent years, anyone who dares to question the idea that adaptation is responsible for the development of Earth's organisms is ...
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Overview

Intrigued by the recent trend of scientists, journalists, philosophers, and teachers who have been ostracized and discredited for daring to suggest that humankind may be the product of intelligent design rather than a random fluke in the cosmic scheme of things, Ben Stein sets out on a journey to investigate the supposed persecution of the many by the select few. Stein asserts that in recent years, anyone who dares to question the idea that adaptation is responsible for the development of Earth's organisms is held to ridicule, and over the course of the film, he travels the globe to speak with the supporters of both theories, pondering the reasons why believing in a higher power has seemingly become a massive taboo in the eyes of educators and the media.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; A special message form Ben Stein; Using intelligent design for medical research; Bonus music tracks by Andy Hunter; Expelled super trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
Intelligent Design I.D. proponent Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed embodies one of the most gutsy and audacious political documentaries to come down the pike in decades, and anyone with atheistic and/or evolutionary beliefs will almost certainly feel infuriated by it. Stein uses the majority of his screen time not to establish the idea that an underhanded conspiracy exists among liberal educators to spread militant atheism and Darwinism among learners. Instead, he demonstrates the fact that such agendas are now out, about, and fashionable. And he pulls off that goal adroitly and convincingly, with no sleight of hand. In one of the film's most intriguing interviews, Stein visits Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, whose stated goal it is to "stamp out" intelligent design wherever it crops up in academia, by maneuvering to have pro-I.D. educators censured or dismissed. During the interview, she turns around and proudly displays a bulletin board with colored push-pins inserted wherever the said goal has been effectuated. This moment achieves greater emotional impact by arriving, in the film, after Stein interviews a series of professors humiliated, emotionally broken, and bereft of their jobs thanks to the woman's doings -- most of whom are not even self-professed creationist advocates or religionists, but who simply acknowledged the concept of I.D. once or twice in peer-reviewed collegiate papers. Unfortunately, these sorts of interviews take up far too much screen time during the film's 90 minutes, and quickly outwear their welcome. Stein could increase the dramatic impact and audience interest in the material if he used screen time to scientifically explore the concept of intelligent design as it stands opposed to Darwinian evolution. This should happen via a detailed and objective discussion of the probability of one versus the other, and the evidence that suggests planned schematics for biological structures in lieu of random occurrences and vice versa. The filmmaker does incorporate this material to a small degree, but limits such apologetics to one sequence of around ten minutes or so. While that sequence is onscreen, it captivates the audience, but the film then returns once more to discussions with atheistic educators and falls into the trap of exhaustively repeating itself. As the film stands, Stein is preaching to the converted in lieu of helping the unfamiliar explore the assets and weaknesses of one system of thought versus the other. As such, the film partially represents a wasted opportunity. One can also take issue with a couple of stylistic choices that Stein makes which render the film somewhat difficult to watch and appreciate. The most pronounced involves his decision to interpolate old film clips into much of the material often during the middle of interviews during the first half of the film. The seriocomic, often campy nature of the clips pulled from such films as The Wizard of Oz and Planet of the Apes both undercuts and seriously cheapens the interview material to an overwhelming degree. Moreover, for some unknown reason, director Nathan Frankowski and cinematographer Ben Huddleston opt to film interviews with the heads severely cropped, which will invariably distract viewers; whatever the motivation, it makes the film look cheap, sloppy, and unpolished. The second half of the film delivers an emotional wallop, though, in spite of the above shortcomings. It feels most compelling when Stein boldly establishes a connection between the scientific Darwinism of contemporary America and the social Darwinism of the Nazis, with their unfettered and unapologetic propagation of eugenic breeding to accelerate natural selection. On a spiritual level, Stein also engages in a haunting and amazing discussion with an atheist philosopher, Richard Dawkins the author of a book entitled The God Delusion who, though an outspoken proponent of Darwinian evolution, eventually admits on-camera that Intelligent Design is feasible and viable. Overall, whether one agrees or disagrees with Stein's central theses, the film will certainly provoke a great deal of discussion and introspection about intelligent design and the limits of free speech per se. In the future, however, Stein seriously needs to rethink his strategy for presenting information and the stylistic approach of his film projects, and to associate himself with co-writers and a director who exhibit defter skills behind the camera. If he can do so, his gutsy and relentless inquisition will lead him to scale even loftier and more provocative ideological heights than this.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/21/2008
  • UPC: 883476004990
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Premise
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: Blu-ray

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Stein Participant
Richard Sternberg Participant
Mark Souder Participant
Guillermo Gonzalez Participant
Caroline Crocker Participant
Richard Dawkins Participant
P.Z. Myers Participant
Eugenie Scott Participant
Christopher Hitchens Participant
Michael Shermer Participant
John Lennox Participant
David Berlinski Participant
Alister McGrath Participant
Stephen C. Meyer Participant
Technical Credits
Nathan Frankowski Director, Cinematographer, Editor
Robbie Bronnimann Score Composer
Joseph Condeelis Animator
Logan Craft Producer
Paul Engstrom Camera Operator
Gillian Fritzsche Asst. Director
Renae Garcia Makeup
Ben Huddleston Camera Operator
Andy Hunter Score Composer, Screenwriter
Patricia Lay Asst. Director
Mark Mathis Associate Producer
Kevin Miller Screenwriter
Lisa Monet Makeup
Kevin Nowicki Camera Operator
Kenji Ono Animator
Andrew Peterson Art Director
Walt Ruloff Producer
Ben Stein Screenwriter
John Sullivan Producer
Patrick Tittmar Sound Mixer
Simon Tondeur Camera Operator, Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Truth Is Rarely Politically Correct

    It takes a lot of courage to speak out against accepted &quot truths,&quot and I applaud Ben Stein for pursuing a venture this risky. This is NOT about giving fantasy an equal footing with hard-researched science. It IS about realizing that: 1) There is scientific evidence, particularly in the area of physics, to support a rational argument for intelligent design and 2) The very idea of God makes some people so irrationally angry that they're willing to silence another reasoned viewpoint just to avoid dealing with its implications for their own lives. Science is supposed to be about learning the truth of things--not about ignoring evidence and shutting people up who don't spout the party line. I most enjoyed this as an opportunity to share with my children an alternative viewpoint to counterbalance the very one-sided perspective they receive at school. Watch with an open mind and accept or reject based on reason, not preconceived ideas about religion or even God.

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Biological sciences and mathematics student...

    I'm in the world of Academia currently and can tell all that this movie sums it up. The professors don't want their students to think objectively at all, which is DEFINITELY NOT what Darwin wanted! Also, I do believe there's validity to Darwin's theories, but people should be able to think abstractly. In short, this movie's a breath of fresh air to those of us trapped behind a mask of complacency at universities worldwide.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A dynamite film A dynamite film A dynamite must see film

    I just saw the film Expelled and cannot believe how wrong the critics were. Watch it first, then judge. In my class (I am a professor) were several atheists and one said he was very impressed with the arguments for atheism and that the film was very balanced. He added that he loved the film as it did present the other side, the atheist side. Many persons obviously got most of their information from the web site expelled exposed, which has been exposed in the new, almost 500 page book that was carefully documented by almost 1,000 footnotes. This new book, titled Slaughter of the Dissidents, is volume one of a 5 volume set that documents every case in the movie. Do a search on Barnes and Noble or Google and pick up a copy. I have read the case histories in this book that go into much more detail on the discrimination cases featured in the film and was amazed at the large amount of solid documentation. Be informed on this issue, then speak out.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Lack of intelligence, full of ignorance and bias.

    whether intelligent design is credible is irrelavent. this all about promoting the Christian religious view of how the world was created. "Creationism" failed so lets make it a little less religious and call it "Intelligent Design". Intelligent design is nothing more than a last desperate attempt of the Christian right in integrating or assimilating anything that they perceive as secular and twisting and turning it into their religious dogma. Magazines, Books, TV, Music, News just to name a few. Science is only another victim of their assualt in reason. Science isn't interested in speculation and spiritual curiosity, only in knowledge and facts supported through evidence, skepticism and experimentation, not wishful thinking. and lets not forget the Narrator Ben Stein who is a longtime conservative ally.

    8 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Breath of Fresh Air -- Inspiring

    Finally -- an honest representation. Thanks to those who produced this valuable, intelligent DVD.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Supposed versus alleged

    Ben Stein documents quite well the pressure on scientists to conform to the macroscopic theory of evolution. He alleges that it exists, and proceeds to document. It is not &amp amp amp quot supposed&amp amp amp quot as one reviewer of the movie stated. I taught science in the public schools for 30 years altogether, which included summer schools, after school second jobs of teaching science, and substitute work. I have seen a very noticeable increase in pressure in the public schools, in general, to conform to the NSF, NSTA, National Academy of Sciences, AAAS, and other guidelines for the teaching of evolution, which includes the publishers. In particular, the BSCS high school biology textbook that included &amp amp amp quot The Human Approach&amp amp amp quot in its title was noticeably evolution-centered, and this particular pedagogical approach was predominantly emphasized throughout the book. In my opinion, this was at the expense of learning other important topic areas of biology.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    If you value your mind, stay away.

    Truly, a load of dishonest drek. The fact that Ben Stein, the narrator, is the only person they could find to put a good review on the cover should tell you all you need to know about this thing.

    4 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very thought provoking

    I found this documentary to be very thought provoking and informative. I actually had never heard of Intelligent Design and its possible implications for such things as cancer research. I am recommending this film to everyone I know.<BR/><BR/>I find it interesting that the reviewers who purport to dislike it merely resort to name calling and denigrating insults. If they feel they are correct and the film incorrect, follow up with some intelligent facts. My sense is that these people never actually watched the film, just came here to vilify it. Why are they so afraid of honest debate?

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    If only the makers of this film knew anything at all about science

    The makers of this film either do not understand science or they hope or know that their target audiences doesn't either. Evolution isn't not true or not based on nazis using evolution as a basis for the holocaust (which they didn't) anymore then gravity isn't true because I want to jump off a bridge and fly. No matter what I want to be true, it is only true based on evidence and scientific processes only. Even if the nazis used evolution to justify the holocaust, that wouldn't logically mean evolution didn't happen. The fact is, some of the Nazis were theists or even Christians and the requirement of the Jewish star goes back to the anti-semitism of the middle ages. That doesn't make Christianity untrue of course. The makers of this film obviously believe the Intelligent Designer is a God, they just don't go out and say it. Where does this designer come from? One can't say it always existed without evidence why that would be so. The material before the big bang could have always existed under that type of reasoning. Ben Stein states in interviews that evolution doesn't explain things like gravity and he is absolutely correct. Genetic study doesn't explain why tornados cause either because they are difference sciences! This film supposedly attacks evolution but in fact it attacks abiogensis, the origins of life. Frankly a creator/deity would be much more complex then a simple RNA molecule or amino acid. Lastly of those people supposedly expelled, they weren't really expelled like the film states. A great piece of propaganda, I will give it credit for that. A lousy piece of film when it comes to actual though provoking stimulation.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazingly awful

    It's hard to pick out the single worst thing about this movie, but I suppose the disgusting spectacle of a Jew trivializing the Holocaust is probably hard to beat. If anything, the Nazis were INTELLIGENT agents attempting to produce a DESIGNED outcome. Hmmm... they were intelligent, and trying to design something. That sounds familiar...<BR/><BR/>The reason ID shouldn't be taught in schools is very very simple: there's nothing to teach. No one has ever even proposed, let alone tested, a single ID hypothesis. Nothing is stopping the Discovery Institute or Michael Behe or William Dembski or any other ID advocate from doing so; they simply aren't interested. That's why they keep morphing the ID political campaign from "Scientific Creationism" to "Intelligent Design" to "Teach the Controversy" to "Critical Analysis of Evolution" to now "Teach the Strengths and Weaknesses of Evolution." And yet, whenever you dig into the new package, it turns out to be disguising the same old discredited creationist nonsense. <BR/><BR/>And it should go without saying that none of "The Expelled" were actually "expelled" from anything. If you're an adjunct professor teaching antiscientific nonsense to your students, as Caroline Crocker was, you can probably expect that your contract won't be renewed. The solution is simple: don't lie to students. Don't tell students that macroevolution has been disproven because "No one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory." (Seeing that happen would actually disprove macroevolution.)<BR/><BR/>In sum, a terrible movie demonstrating the demise of Ben Stein's intellect.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absurd and Irresponsible

    This is a great flick! I think it's wonderful Ben Stein feels we should teach evolution as an option in our schools. As a matter of fact, maybe we should research unicorns and bigfoot in science class! Oh, or maybe we could learn about E.T. and Luke Skywalker in astronomy! Wait, what about the X-men in anatomy class! Gotta watch out for those mutant genes you know. Wouldn't wanna get stem cells from those babies! I just think it's wonderful that Ben hopes we can someday completely blur the line between science and fantasy and further slide down the evolutionary ladder that Darwin spent so much time researching! It must be great to have the answers and not worry about truly finding out how or why we're here. For an intellectual, like Ben claims to be, the ideas put forth in this film will further the scientific rut we as a nation are already in. Keep dumbing em down Ben, more votes for your team I suppose. More Nessie, less Ben Stein, I say...

    2 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Challenging and Thought Provoking

    No matter what your stance is on evolution or intelligent design, this is worth seeing. It is a well-balanced and fair presentation of the current atmosphere in the academic realm. Stein's main objective is to ask why the scientific community no longer allows an equal exchange of views. He also allows history to act as a witness that when this type of censorship is continued it is mankind's greatest detriment to freedom. Although many would find him irritating, like a piece of sand inserted into a clam, this video is a pearl and should be mandatory viewing as a challenge to the next generation who would rather accept opinions as gospel truth rather than critically think through the issues.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Humor that tells the Truth

    Good film. This shows some of the problems with the theory of evolution with out getting too technical. Where it really excels is showing the end reasoning of evolution. It links Communism, fascism, euthanizing people, eugenics and abortion to the end reasoning of evolution. If you believe or support these ideas you will be very uneasy after you view this film.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Open Discussion, Please!

    Although there are a few segments that seem to drag a bit, Expelled is mostly an engaging, thought-provoking, disturbing documentary. Academia get slammed (and rightly so) for being closed-minded, self-righteous, and exclusive. Stein begs the question of "Origins" of life, and none of the brainiacs can manage a decent, reasonable answer. Yet, when someone in academia even mutters the phrase "Intelligent Design", he or she gets black-balled for life. Amazing. Stein's premise is that freedom of thought and discussion are being squelched by the fear that Darwinish may not be able to explain everything about the origins and further development of the living world.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 22, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews