Friday, June 27, 2008

Expelled (2/5 stars)

Darwin's theory of evolution has been blamed for a lot of things -- for one, it has Ben Stein to answer for -- but it's the connection with Nazi death camps that finally sends Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, over the line.

No Intelligence Allowed is a documentary "hosted" and co-written by Stein, a media gadfly who has previously been, in no particular order, Ferris Bueller's boring teacher, Richard Nixon's speech writer and the host of a TV game show. In a way, the film calls on all of these careers to come into play: the drone of a point being made over and over again, a Nixonian sense of exclusion and resentment, a merry-go-round breathlessness that disguises the lack of rigorous argument.

The movie represents Stein's investigation into the great scientific "cover-up" of an alternative theory to Darwin's. Intelligent Design postulates that the world did evolve but that life itself was made by a Creator. The movie takes some pains to distance itself from the idea of fundamentalist thought, but it becomes clear that ID is an essentially religious idea in which God created the world and it took off from there.

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