“Expelled”: No intelligence found.

Everybody agrees: Ben Stein’s new anti-evolution documentary is terrible. Surely these bad reviews are part of the grand conspiracy to stifle cdesign proponentsists.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

7 replies on ““Expelled”: No intelligence found.”

  1. “Everybody” eh? That’s odd, as I just read several quite positive reviews. Spin away, though. ;-)

  2. Well, between linking directly to the collection of reviews in question and the fact that “everybody” really can’t possibly be taken literally when presenting a matter of collective opinion, I think I’m in good shape here.

  3. Just makes me want to see it more. Controversy around a film means I got to see it (or at least wait until I can rent cheaply).

    I.Pubs – Most of the positive reviews are coming from religious organizations, and not for the content, but more for bringing the matter up for debate. Thought I’m not gonna say whether I think it sucks or not: I haven’t seen it. And critics are good at picking what I’ll like may 10% of the time.

  4. I think a good analogy to highlight the intellectual dishonesty of Ben Stein’s enterprise would be to imagine somebody with deep pockets financing a similar film about the “conspiracy” by historians, archaeologists and anthropologists to suppress criticism of the out-of-Asia model of Native American settlement in the New World, and to deny teaching of indigenous origins in college classes. Just as the Intelligent Design crowd can pull out folks with Ph.D.s to claim that the theory of natural selection is shot full of holes, the Indigenous Origins people have had a few academic allies, notably Vine Deloria:


    If they made enough noise about “teaching the controversy”, sooner or later the news media would feel that every time they did a story where they interviewed an archaeologist talking about, say, DNA links between Algonquian speakers and Siberian tribes, they’d also need to provide “balance” by interviewing a dissident like Deloria or a tribal elder who’d explain that mainstream science has it wrong because the Diné are descendants of the First Man who sprang up in the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona.

    Now, if you’re teaching an American history course with Native American students who might be traditionalists, you certainly should be sensitive to their background and be respectful of origin myths, but you’re not going to say that there are “alternate theories” of how humans arrived in the New World; what you will say is that the evidence is unequivocal that their origins are from Asia, but that there is still uncertainty about timing and mode of arrival. And you’d be the first to admit that mainstream archaeology has had to make adjustments as new facts came in, such as the solid evidence for pre-Clovis settlements of the last decade or so.

    It’s precisely the same situation with evolutionary biology. The only reason that the ID crowd has convinced people that there’s a difference is that (1) they’re better funded, and (2) there are a lot more Americans who believe as a matter of dogma in the literal truth of the first few chapters of Genesis than in the literal truth of native American creation stories.

  5. whoops, make that “Athabascan speakers”. I’ve been living east of the Mississippi for too long…

  6. Wow, I think my favorite part of that wikipedia link would probably have to be this one:

    “He argues for a Young Earth with only one Ice Age, for a worldwide flood, and for the survival of dinosaurs into the 19th century.”

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