Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Review of Expelled

Roger Ebert (non-scientist) has an excellent review here of Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed movie that provides a un-biased review. I just pasted a little from the beginning which i think makes a great point:

"Ben Stein, you hosted a TV show on which you gave away money. Imagine that I have created a special edition of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" just for you. Ben, you've answered all the earlier questions correctly, and now you're up for the $1 million prize. It involves an explanation for the evolution of life on this planet. You have already exercised your option to throw away two of the wrong answers. Now you are faced with two choices: (A) Darwin's Theory of Evolution, or (B) Intelligent Design.

Because this is a special edition of the program, you can use a Hotline to telephone every scientist on Earth who has an opinion on this question. You discover that 99.975 of them agree on the answer (A). A million bucks hangs in the balance. The clock is ticking. You could use the money. Which do you choose? You, a firm believer in the Constitution, are not intimidated and exercise your freedom of speech. You choose (B).

Squaaawk!!! The klaxon horn sounds. You have lost. Outraged, you file suit against the program, charging it is biased and has denied a hearing for your belief. Your suit argues that the "correct" answer was chosen because of a prejudice against the theory of Intelligent Design, despite the fact that .025 of one percent of all scientists support it. You call for (B) to be discussed in schools as an alternative theory to (A)."

It just gets better! I especially like "The more you know about evolution, or simple logic, the more you are likely to be appalled by the film. No one with an ability for critical thinking could watch more than three minutes without becoming aware of its tactics"

and then of course there is "This film is cheerfully ignorant, manipulative, slanted, cherry-picks quotations, draws unwarranted conclusions, makes outrageous juxtapositions (Soviet marching troops representing opponents of ID), pussy-foots around religion (not a single identified believer among the ID people - like the Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Mormons, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, for example), segues between quotes that are not about the same thing, tells bald-faced lies, and makes a completely baseless association between freedom of speech and freedom to teach religion in a university class that is not about religion." (italics from another section of the review)

Additionally - for anyone interested in sharing with others, there is a subtitle program that you can load on to your computer that goes with the movie and explains the quote mining, misinterpretations, fabrications and outright lies in the movie with actual data and true facts including the real story behind every one of the so-called scientists that lose their jobs (which they don't and what does happen is not because of what/why they claim in the movie) or whatever (programs are located here). I highly recommend it for anyone actually watching this movie.

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