by Michael dEstries
Categories: Film/TV
Tags: .

expelledPop quiz! What’s responsible for atheism, abortion, euthanasia, and the Holocaust? If you answered anything but evolution, I’m incredibly relieved. If evolution did in fact pop into your head, you’ll probably be first in line for Ben Stein’s new documentary: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Using the same tactics as Big Tobacco and Global Warming skeptics, the film attempts to generate a smidgen of doubt about evolution. Stein follows the script that creationism is being dismissed from schools because of academic “prejudice” and attempts to dress up the idea that the earth is only 6,000-10,000 years old by inviting anti-evolution “think tank” cranks and under-credentialed academics to the table. From the article,

Expelled relies on the viewer’s inability or unwillingness to wrestle with a complex corner of science, double-talking its way toward a “must be a miracle” solution to anything that science may not claim to have an answer for. Dismiss that for having no basis in fact, and you’re infringing on “academic freedom.”

That’s not it at all, Ben. And really, when academia, the courts, the opinions of the educated have all weighed in on this subject on that “other side,” who’s the real monkey in this ‘debate’?”

Oh, snap! No wonder Ferris Bueller cut school that day. He was probably about to get an earful on cavemen and dinosaurs living together in perfect harmony. For more on the silliness of this film check out the counter-website, Expelled Exposed.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Patty Ryan

    I must confess, I haven’t seen the film yet, but I seriously doubt that Stein believes the earth to only be 6K to 10K years old. (Any thinking person, religious or not, can reconcile the biblical account with scientific fact about the theorized formation of the universe if they care to. Unfortunately, most don’t want to make the attempt, or are to closed minded to even try) The last time I looked, which was last night, science seems to “invent” things like dark matter and dark energy to explain phenomenon that don’t easily fit into the accepted physical laws of the universe. Science often asks us to believe in something we can not see, hear or measure. Darwinism is full of faith based beliefs with no scientific basis. It sounds a lot like a religion to me. So what makes scientists infallible and Christians (or buddhists or jews) perceived to be lacking in intelligence because they want to believe conscious thought went into what goes on in the universe around us, and seems to work amazing well for something that “just happened?” Could it be the simple prejudice of those who can not bear the thought of being “judged” by a higher power if it does indeed exist? I’m constantly amazed at the lack of common sense, logic and the willingness to look at alternative explanation that pervade those who consider themselves to be intellectuals.

  • drivin98

    Someone tell Ben he can’t play guitar for AC-DC either.

  • drivin98

    “I’m constantly amazed at the lack of common sense, logic and the willingness to look at alternative explanation that pervade those who consider themselves to be intellectuals.”

    One doesn’t need to be an intellectual to be amazed at the lack of common sense, logic displayed in your comment.

    Evolutionist don’t say things “just happen”. That would be a characterization voiced by someone opposed to the entire concept of evolution.

    And science doesn’t just “invent” things. Not to sound catty but perhaps you should save up some money and go to a university where you can see how science actually works and how they come up with the things they do. Maybe then you’ll be able to better understand the method behind the “madness”.
    And to pre-empt any suggestion that I read up on creationism or intelligent design, trust me, I have.

  • Black5

    If you have done little or no reading on this issue then your viewpoint is one from ignorance. Google “Intelligent Design” and spend an hour finding answers on your own. If you wish to discuss this issue further come over to the ‘Evolution and Origins’ forum at

  • Jackie

    I don’t believe in evolution, but I do love the environment. What is the problem?

  • Kram Rognug

    I’ve just seen the film. If you haven’t seen it, you should shut up.

    Can’t prove ID? Correct.

    But can you prove evolution? Nope.

    Did we evolve? Maybe. But the “theory” of evolution is just that – a theory. Believe it if you will, but the fossil record is still lacking much proof.

    Both evolution and ID requires a certain amount of faith since neither can be proven. When the evolutionists react so strongly to a film showing an opposing view it only shows the weakness of their arguments and supports Stein’s position.

    I suppose ultimately one theory or the other will be proven in the end. If upon your death you simpy black out for ever – then the evolutionists were probably right. If upon your death you come face to face with God – then I supposed ID will suddenly look like a pretty strong argument to you.

    I, for one, truly hope for the latter. If for no other reason than to watch the stunned faces of those who don’t believe in ID. It should prove to be a rather entertaining encounter…

  • Patty Ryan

    Okay, then show me the definitive proof that dark matter and dark energy actually exist. They were, in fact, “invented” if you will, to help explain what present calculations show about the expansion of the universe and the lack of observable matter to cause such an expansion. And you don’t sound catty, you sound arrogant and ignorant. I suggest you stop being so full of yourself. Don’t presume to know my education or IQ. You’d be wrong on both counts.

    And yes, evolutionists do believe that things do just happen…that new species just appear with no clear intermediates. I’m not denying evolution, it only makes sense. I just don’t believe in evolution as preached by the new revisionists of Darwin’s original conclusions. Even he acceded that there was something guiding this metamorphosis. If I create something, such as a computer operating system for example, I would design it to evolve to fit the environments it would be installed into, such as OSX or Windows goes through new releases to evolve to fit the new hardware or solve original design flaws. And as complicated as those two OS’s are, they are nothing compared to the intricacies of life, so it’s little stretch to think that it would be designed to adapt to a changing environment. A weak example I know, but I think evolution proves intelligent design instead of debunks it.

  • evie

    Patty, evolutionists DO NOT believe things “just happen”. They DO NOT believe “new speicies just appear”. This is terribly embarassing for you so please go to the site listed by the other poster or some other site that can give you the facts about evolution before engaging in a debate about it.

  • Remy Chevalier

    There’s a little old cartoon I clipped long ago, buried in a box somewhere… it was a teacher in front of a black board… explaining different theories on how man came about this Earth… the first was evolution, the second creationism, and the third, the UFO from The Life of Brian… and guess what… I buy into the third explanation as making the most sense… about 14.000 years ago there was a massive flood on the planet, sea level rose 200 feet, where it is today… about 40.000 years ago there was a massive shift from Neanderthal to Cro-magnon man, we still haven’t found the missing link yet… Are we the product of alien genetical manipulation? A lot of people seem to think so. So why not introduce this third theory into the school system, because that’s the one people talk about the most. And Yes, I’m a big fan of Shirley MacLaine.

  • Patty Ryan

    Then show me one true intermediate species. By “just happen,” I mean that, according to the revisionists, there is clear proof of a logical progression. Yet, as far as I can find, there is no fossil evidence of a fish that truly walked on land and breathed air. One (with the ability to walk) exists now, the walking catfish, but in order to “evolve” from a pure water based water breathing animal to a land based air breathing animal, logic says that there must be an intermediate species. Where are the fossils? Some claim that the Tiktaalik roseae fits that profile, but there are still too many unanswered questions about this discovery. Is the ability to support weight or even shuffle across a few feet of sand, like the above catfish, a true walking fish? The whole point is, there are to many holes in the accepted evolution theory for it to be considered indisputable fact. Why is any alternative theory, which is just as credible and equally filled with unanswered questions, not allowed to be debated in the same manner?

    And a note to the second poster. Intelligent design only believes that there was conscious thought that went into the design of life. Whether you choose to believe it was God, Aliens or a factory ala Hitchhiker’s Guide, is not relevant to the premise.

  • Patty Ryan

    But enough of this. G’ day.

  • klara jolesz

    Check out more about the ben stein controversy at this site….

  • Mel

    I’d still like to see more facts supporting evolution. For example, why do all creatures have different number of chromosomes? Chimps have a lot more than we do, are we retarded chimps? What about the 12 step process in blood clotting? I can kind of understand how the eye could evolve, but not how blood clots. Nor do I see why we are not asexual creatures since trying to find another similar creature of the opposing gender would more than likely be a road block to natural selection. It would make it hard to replicate our own specie if we had to find a mate.

    I think my husband was right, we should all just evolve into Sporlocks. (It’s a WoW thing.)

    Also, it really bothered me when I read an article on physicists trying to describe the size of nothing. I thought nothing was the absence of something. On top of that, I thought that something couldn’t come from noting.

    Evolution never made sense to me, especially now that I am pre-med.

  • Double Dee

    Evolution is the only thing coming close to making sense. Not proven, but closer than any ‘religious’ text or ID claim by any stretch of intelligence.
    We will all laugh at you in the future just as we do the people that thought the earth was the center of the solar system. Now go give church more of your hard earned money…

  • Alan Niven

    “We will all laugh at you in the future just as we do the people that thought the earth was the center of the solar system.”

    Your analogy is interesting but misses the point. It is the Darwinists still pushing a Victorian dogma with religious zeal whom history will judge to be a laughing stock. Darwin had justification for asking for time to answer his critics, being well aware of the serious problems which could be justifiably raised against his own theory. He devoted an entire chapter to parering over the cracks. 150 years on, there are no excuses. Dinosaurs, sorry I mean Darwinists out there – you can no longer believe the earth is flat. Start getting used to a design centred paradigm.

  • stasch

    The main point of the film is being missed by many. Its not the debate, but the categorical silencing of the current minority side.

    At the same time, it is admitted by the majority opinion that other options are possible and that not everything to be known about the issue is known at this time. At the same time they claim their idea is ‘fact’.

    Big contradiction there.

    Greater still, why the censorship? Is this really objectivity, or is the idea that one’s world view keeps one from allowing room for other opinions valid, particularly because of the obviouis implications?

  • Alan Niven

    “Greater still, why the censorship? Is this really objectivity, or is the idea that one’s world view keeps one from allowing room for other opinions valid, particularly because of the obvious implications?”

    There is currently an ominous movement within science which goes beyond the censorship we see from Darwinists. Elements within the scientific community are increasingly attempting to position science as the only legitimate source of knowledge, in the minds of the general public. Any question which does not submit to the scientific method is deemed meaningless. Science can be the only legitimate arbiter. The ultimate questions such as “is there a God?” have been relegated to the “myths and legends” section where they are guarded heavily lest they should escape and once again rise to challenge the authority of science . Ridicule is used effectively to slap anyone back into line who presents an alternative world-view.

    To some extent, this monopolising stems from an arrogance within science, arising from theoretical and technical “advances” and from speculation concerning even greater future possibilities. It is also due to the self serving and self propagating nature of science. People whose status depends on their scientific work are always inclined to exaggerate the importance and scope of science, as they exaggerate the importance and potential applications of their own research.

    In order to achieve this level of power, scientists need to convince us that their knowledge rests on a firm and certain foundation. The limits of science or the unprovable metaphysical assumptions are hardly discussed. Either these limitations deliberately concealed or practising scientists are genuinely ignorant about foundational issues related to their discipline. Whatever the case, the false picture of science as the repository of certain truth has been bought by a large percentage of the general public. They must be getting their ideas from somewhere.

  • gregor

    i dont care if you believe in evolution but i dont. the fact its taught in public school makes me upset. they teach the THEORY of evolution like its fact. how would you pro-evolutionists like it if you were forced to learn creation and how it really happened. not fun huh? im not asking people to change opinions, i just want evolution out of school or an option not to take it or to take a creationism class. it is prejudice. science isnt always right, especially when its an unproven theory.

  • JL

    One reason the debate is “silenced?”

    The Theory of Evolution lends itself to criticism, to poking and prodding, to ensuring that it’s a “working” theory – testing itself every minute. That’s the beauty of science.

    “Faith,” on the other hand, is not asking to be proven, because it can’t be. That’s the whole point of the word – to believe without proof. That’s not very academic.

    Don’t tell me Intelligent Design has nothing to do with Faith; eg, things we could never find or test proof against.

    Hence the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    It’s simply not academic. It’s the ol’ “observable evidence” prerequisite. Gets ya every time.

  • JL

    Plus, the design-centered paradigm is selfish and disgusting. Humans are simply not that important.


  • fbr

    Unlike evolution, ID/creationism is not a scientific theory simply because it is not falsifiable. Therefore it cannot be studied with the scientific method.

  • JL

    yes fbr, thank you for putting my crazy ramblings into one concise and coherent sentence.

    I’m going to mumble in the corner by myself now… but before I do I must say, I can’t believe how many ecorazzi readers don’t understand science, or have convinced themselves that the evil biologists have something to hide or prove against religion!

  • mateo

    Ben Stein actually does believe in evolution , unless he lied when he said “I believe in evolution , but ….. Then he says something to the effect of evolution alone could not take us from single celled organisms to intelligent beings .Also , the “theory ” of evolution is only a theory in those terms . That evolution happens is accepted scientific fact and has been observed in bacteria and also in insects with short life spans . Scientists observing life forms with very short spans can watch natural selection change an organism over generations . This is not disputed by actual scientists of any faith , only morons on the internet .