Posted by: William | April 21, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

I watched Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed last night, discussing the scientific and academic boundaries levied against the theory of intelligent design. I must say outright, that this documentary was very well done.

The film begins with about half a dozen interviews with extremely well qualified professors at prestigious universities who lost their jobs for simply entering the idea of intelligent design into research. None of the interviewed professors sided with the idea of intelligent design or had any overt affiliation to religious systems. They simply wished to enter the hypothesis in along side other valid hypotheses. That clearly didn’t work.

Through the course of the film, a great prejudice is exposed in the academic and scientific community. After many interviews, the viewer will be convinced that the evolution theory, while scientifically plausible, is not as rock solid as we are led to believe. A fight against evolution, however, is neither the point nor the strength of this documentary. The intention is to expose the deteriorating freedom of inquiry in American academia. All inquiry is permitted up until the suggestion of a higher power or creator. Many scientists, including well known Richard Dawkins, prefer the explanation that “aliens” did it, rather than suggesting the possibility that a god was responsible.

Throughout the film, the Berlin Wall is used as a metaphor for these problems we face today; a poignant choice, considering the immediate effects of the Berlin Wall. Along the same line of thought, the film also guides the viewer through some of the philosophical implications of limiting this freedom of inquiry: eugenics, to Nazism and so on.

The film concludes with a truly brilliant, telling and climactic interview between Ben Stein and Richard Dawkins that I really couldn’t do justice to.

The temptation for many Christians in watching this film will be to respond in a gung-ho manner with a “see, I told you so” attitude. While the film should be an encouragement against the onslaught of flimsy, but loud, scientific study, this movie is not waiving any kind of Jesus banner (let’s remember that Ben Stein is a practicing Jew). The point of the movie is not religious, it’s sociological. It’s not about proving Christianity, Judaism or Islam or any other deity based religion right, it’s about challenging the current status quo; religion is scientifically unconfirmed, but so is Darwinism.

Many of the reviews you read for this film are either going to absolutely love it, or absolutely hate it (just look on IMDB). For me, that is somewhat telling. Many will call this movie a “propaganda piece”, although that didn’t seem to evident in the film. I highly recommend everyone get out to see this movie, or rent it when it hits DVD. I believe it will either stand as an encouragement to your faith, or challenge the scientific community and their megaphone.



  1. awesome I’ll have to see it when it comes out on DVD!

  2. It IS really sad when “freedom of speech” becomes selective and not really freedom. More like a debate in where you are only allowed to see one side, no matter how unreliable and unproven it is, and forbidden from just bringing up the other possibly side! I’ve heard so many too-true “horror” stories of teachers being fired just form merely stating that evolution is a theory and is not proven. I hate it when they call evolution “science” and intelligetn design “religion”! They’re both just as much religion, and, in my opinion, it takes much more “faith” to believe in evolution than it does intelligent design! Yet I suppose that’s what people are forced to believe when they reject God… what has this world come to, anyway? well thanks for the awesome review, and like I said b4, I’ll DEF check it out!

  3. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for your thoughts!

  4. William:

    Thank you for an excellent review. I particularly appreciate the reminder that this film is not only about science…it’s about freedom and the equal expression of ideas. Take care…the wolves are circling. They are not pleased to see their science challenged. Nor do they appreciate or acknowledge that the playing field has been less than level. God bless!

  5. […] across William Petruzzo’s WordPress blog, William Petruzzo. He had just posted a flattering review extolling Expelled, and strongly recommending it to others. It was plainly obvious that he had […]

  6. The most ironic thing about this movie, and all the subsequent blogging/commenting online is how much the “evolutionist” are coming across as irrational crackpots – traits that are generally associated with how they feel about fundamentalist “Creationists.”

    To me, the most poignant part of the movie is when Dawkins comes across as a buffoon. I mean, he’s an intelligent man, and a well-respected author.

    The expelled: exposed website is humorous – there’s quite a bit of emotional whining from respondents.

  7. This movie, as well as this review, makes the mistake of applying free speech ideology to scientific endeavors. While people are free to investigate and say whatever they wish, institutions are by no means obligated to support them in their inquiries.
    The scientific community has very specific standards of rigor, which most creationist papers fail to meet. In rejecting creationists or their works, organizations are merely enforcing the standards they enacted to ensure scientists and their ideas are of high quality. The scientific community is not biased against ID, only against improper science.

  8. William, have you stopped deleting the anti-‘Expelled’ comments?

    Do you understand the irony when you do this?

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