Ben Stein's new movie: Expelled
UPDATE: For the "super-trailer", click here.
Stein's film on evolution and ID will be released on April 18th in more than 1,000 theaters nationwide. To see the website and the trailer, click here.
At minimum, I'm expecting a Michael-Moore quality and type of documentary-- well-produced, amusing, poignant, at least occasionally insightful, and of course, provocative.
A number of articles here, but let's start with Marvin Olasky's in World...
The 100-minute documentary, Expelled, is perfect for adults and children of middle-school age or above: It should be rated R not for sex or violence but for being reasonable, radical, risible, and right. (It is rated PG for thematic material, some disturbing images, and brief smoking.) ...Stein is amusing as he walks, in dark suit and bright running shoes, from interview to interview with scientists and philosophers on both sides of the evolution debate.
Expelled rightly equates Darwinian stifling of free speech with the Communist attempt to enslave millions behind the Berlin Wall. One Expelled scene shows Stein, mathematician David Berlinski (a sophisticated Paris resident), and nuclear physicist Gerald Schroeder (wearing a yarmulke), all now ID advocates, discussing the importance of freedom as they visit a remnant of the Wall. All three are Jewish, and they don't look or talk like the hicks portrayed in Inherit the Wind.
Stein, giving the Darwinists he interviews plenty of time to make their case, is particularly effective in his conversation with Richard Dawkins, atheistic author of the best-selling The God Delusion. Dawkins astoundingly admits that life on earth could be the result of ID, as long as the designer was a being from outer space who was himself the product of atheistic evolution. No God allowed!
Expelled's showing of the connection between evolutionary doctrine and Nazi eugenics has already infuriated some in academia and the media...
The real question is: Did Darwinism bulwark Hitlerian hatred by providing a scientific rationale for killing those considered less fit in the struggle for survival? The answer to that question is an unambiguous yes....
April 18 will bring an interesting test of whether Expelled, or any other documentary so conceived and so dedicated, can endure in movie theaters past the first weekend. Michael Moore's fatuous documentaries have done good box office with the help of sympathetic reviewers and network news producers. Ben Stein's excellent one might rely on evangelicals and others who are tired of being ridiculed by the closed minds of the Evolution Establishment.
And then there's this from Jenn Duncan in the Southeast Outlook...
The documentary by Ben Stein exposes persecution of professors, scientists and journalists who claim they are denied the freedom to follow evidence of the universe’s origin wherever it leads....According to Stein, "Expelled exposes a loss of freedom of inquiry in the scientific world."
Ben Stein, perhaps best known as the monotone teacher from the hit movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, doesn’t simply talk to people who represent one side of the story. The film follows him on a journey to answer the age-old question: Are we the handiwork of a designer or simply the product of countless mutations? Is Intelligent Design a pseudo-science trying to undercut evolutionary biology, or is it a reasonable science being censored by an establishment that is hostile to deviation from the status quo?
Stein questions scientists such as Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, influential biologist and atheist PZ Myers and Eugenie Scott, head of the National Center for Science Education. Stein said he discovered an elitist scientific establishment that has swapped skepticism for dogma, calls the theory of evolution fact, and seeks to smear any who propose other ideas. Grant money, jobs, publications and the entire name of Big Science is at stake, according to Stein.
Although some interviewees are raising a ruckus about the film, Steve Schmidt, director of distributing, said "every person was told this film would be about the conflict between Intelligent Design and Evolution, each person was given the questions in advance if they desired, each person was paid, and every one of them cashed their check. Our conscience is totally clean regarding the film—we misrepresented nothing."
The struggle is not a matter of strict science, but an entire worldview issue. Stein points out that Darwinism can lead people to become Atheists, who believe in no God, no morality, no purpose and no sanctity of life. PZ Myers offered his take on religion, compared it to a hobby and said it brings the same type of comfort as knitting....
The Southeast Outlook also had an article by Ruth Schenk (but I couldn't find it on-line). She notes that Stein has been an attorney, columnist, actor, professor, presidential speech writer (for Nixon and Ford), the author of 30 books, and a game show host! (Did you ever see "Win Ben Stein's Money"? It was awesome!)
Finally, in an interview with Peter Chattaway in Christianity Today (couldn't find this on-line either!), Stein notes that he is not an expert on ID and that, in the movie, he "just moderates the discussion among the scientists".
We don't see many movies in the theater, but we'll probably make a special trip to catch this one!