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Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
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Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008)
Starring: Ben Stein, Richard Dawkins Director: Nathan Frankowski Rating:   Format: DVD
2.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (227 customer reviews)

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Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed 2.7 out of 5 stars (227)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Stein, Richard Dawkins, Robert J. Marks II, Mark Souder, Gerald Schroeder
  • Directors: Nathan Frankowski
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Premise
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Sales Rank: #163 in Movies & TV (See Bestsellers in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Big science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom ... What they forgot is that every generation has its Rebel! That rebel, Ben Stein (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) travels the world on his quest, and learns an awe-inspiring truth … that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the crime of merely believing that there might be evidence of design in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance. To which Ben Says: Enough! And then gets busy. NOBODY messes with Ben.

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Customer Reviews

227 Reviews
5 star: 37%  (85)
4 star: 5%  (12)
3 star: 2%  (5)
2 star: 0%  (1)
1 star: 54%  (124)
Average Customer Review
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,509 of 1,883 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars A complete sham, I can't believe I paid money to see this in the theater, July 14, 2008
**UPDATE: 9/24/08 - After numerous requests I have ultimately decided to rewrite this review, almost in its entirety. The first review was posted on 7/14/2008. My rating has not changed nor have my opinions on this documentary. However, people have made suggestions in format changes as well as making the content more concise and I think they are good suggestions. It doesn't matter whether you support ID or Evolution, the review should help people make an educated decision about this product. Thank you to those who helped with their suggestions and didn't simply write this off because I gave it one star. This applies to people on both sides of the ID and Evolution argument, you people are truly taking the high road and I appreciate that.

I believe I should clarify something before I delve into the full breadth of my review. When I first saw this I was ready to give it three stars. I didn't see any point in questioning Ben Stein's report about people losing their jobs because of their beliefs. Humanity can be cruel no matter where you are and prejudice can rear its head no matter what the belief. That being said, I walked out thinking there was a problem starting to sweep the academic community and the only issue I had with the film was its association of Darwin and the Nazis (I'll go more in depth on this later). I've been quite a fan of Ben Stein's commentary on the economy and many other things. He seems to be very fair and balanced, thus, based on that perception I didn't have any reason to question his work here. Until I started doing some research on it, that is. I went to to read the scientific communities response. I was shocked. I didn't stop there; I went to one of the scientists featured in the documentary. I may not have looked at every scientist interviewed in detail, but I've seen enough.

Ben Stein shows us a world where Academia's freedom of inquiry might not be so free. This should be a concern for anyone and everyone. This undermines the concept that we will be teaching facts and truth in our universities. However, if you watch how this documentary is formatted you will find that this documentary is overly biased, delving into spectrums of propaganda! Let me explain. Stein sets about proving his premise by interviewing scientists that have been rejected by the establishment. Scientists who have allegedly had their lives ruined because of their belief in something called "Intelligent Design." Science isn't here to persecute people's beliefs and this concept would probably outrage anyone... that is until you realize the lengths he goes to paint science as the root of this evil.

So, we have Stein interviewing scientists that have had their qualifications ruined by the establishment, wouldn't you think Stein should interview people working in the scientific community at the time about this issue? If this persecution of dissidents was happening I would think he'd go and talk to people still working in the field and cite his examples for scrutiny. This never happens. Either Stein is a just a terrible host for a documentary and should stick to the game shows, or he has an agenda. Stein does interview PZ Myers, Michael Ruse, Eugenie Scott, and the mighty Richard Dawkins for his grand finale, but he never once asks them about the people that were fired or denied tenure. He only sticks to questions concerning how life began. He doesn't even really talk to them about why Intelligent Design is rejected by the scientific community versus why evolution is taught. He never asks these questions. Michael Ruse, who isn't even credited during his interview (more sloppy documentary work), proposes a possible life beginning scenario involving crystals. This results in Stein asking him again how it's possible... after Ruse just told him and results in what can be interpreted as a rude response from Ruse. This style of filming to show scientists as unwilling to entertain the idea of Intelligent Design pushes the viewer to see science as intolerable. In our overly politically correct society this seems "mean" or whatever to people. Science isn't a democracy; it's based on factual observations. Intelligent Design cannot provide something observable that can be repeated in a laboratory, that's a fact, not a belief. So why should science also be politically correct and show "tolerance" for things that are blatantly unscientific. (I know some people will cry conspiracy about evolution, but that's not the point of this documentary.)

Stein also interviewed Berlinski and played favoritism to him in this film, I think, because he was giving the kind of answers Stein could agree with. That shouldn't be the point of something you're making to generate awareness. He goes into his grand finale with Dawkins. I'm not going to try and defend Dawkins' embarrassing answer for him; I agree with others that he's a better writer (though I do admire him for trying to speak out for the side of science). Long story short, Stein pushed Dawkins to come up with an answer of how life began and Dawkins naturally replied that he didn't know. He actually replied with "I don't know" multiple times until we come to a cut scene where it shows Dawkins proposing that aliens could have possibly seeded life on the planet. If you notice Dawkins' tone of voice and mannerisms it's pretty clear he didn't even believe his comment. So why say it? I have no idea; I also have no idea how long this paltry debate between Dawkins and Stein went on until Stein finally got some ammunition to help his point along.

As further proof of this rather slanted take on the subject, I submit the whole Nazi/Holocaust association with science. I'm sorry, but what does that have to do with freedom of inquiry in the present day academic community? For me Stein is simply reaching at straws and he's really out to demonize science. As someone told me, he was quoted as saying "Science leads to killing." After seeing this relation in the midst of his documentary I can see why he believes it, but that doesn't mean he's right. Not to mention Hitler was influenced by a lot more than just Darwinian Theory, just read "Mein Kampf" and you'll see him quote another document called "The Protcol's of the Elders Zion." Hitler basically repeated the anti-Semitic theories from that document almost verbatim concerning his prejudice. Not to mention the Nazi practice of "survival of the fittest" doesn't even correlate with Darwin, because mankind is meddling at that specific point. Nature isn't in control over who is the "fittest" the Nazi party and other humans were. Just because the Nazis don't understand what it means or want to skew it doesn't mean it was all Darwin's fault. Either way, apparently he forgets why we understand the cause of Small Pox and can create a vaccine or how penicillin works and is just focusing on those who made things like the atomic bomb. I'm well aware that Darwin influenced the Nazi scientists, but this has nothing to do with the scientists supposedly being fired today.

In the end I was left realizing the immense piece of propaganda I had viewed. After I sat down and analyzed what I saw and did some research this swiftly dropped to a one star rating. There is simply no excuse for this and whether you support Intelligent Design or Evolution, it doesn't matter; you should not want Stein representing you on this case. You should not want this documentary to be used as your "proof" against the establishment. "Expelled" is propaganda and you can even tell that from the way it's filmed. If you must see it, then do the research to back it up on both sides. Regardless if you believe his points or think that Gonzalez should be freed, you have to ask yourself "why didn't he ask Richard Dawkins or PZ Myers or any of the other scientists about the firings and losing of tenure?" If you don't have an answer for this then you know this film isn't on the level.

P.S. This is an abridged review from the original. I think this stands as my full review for just the film. Hopefully this improved/rewritten review will come across as being more useful for those reading.
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793 of 1,054 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Lies: Now in a convenient disc format, July 3, 2008
By K. McKnight (Scottsdale, AZ) - See all my reviews
By all means, buy this. Nothing could undermine the credibility of the Intelligent Design crowd faster than this dishonest, venal attempt to make an end run around the legitimate scientific vetting process. [...]
Comment Comments (50) | Permalink | Was this review helpful to you? YesNo (Report this)

262 of 331 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars I am offended as a Biologist, a Christian, and a Human., July 8, 2008
By Walter Tabens (Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
By trade, I am a biologist. I teach biology and invest strongly in science. "Science" comes from the Greek word for "knowledge." Those who shun science shun knowledge. Evolution is as strong a science as gravity and thermodynamics. If someone attempted to teach my children that gravity was explained by God tethering us with invisible strings, I would attempt to have them fired or, better yet, sent to the loony bin. Likewise, when people attempt to claim that we did not evolve over 3 billion years from a single celled organism, they should suffer the same fate (fired, committed, etc.). The facts are the facts, and should not be skewed by the ignorant.

So biology is my trade. But by faith, I'm a devout Christian. I speak to and have a personal relationship with God. He is omnipresent in my life. I abide strongly by the Ten Commandments - one of the most salient being "thou shall not bear false witness." We have come to accept this to mean, colloquially, "you should not lie." You should not lie to your significant other about where you have been. You should not lie to your friend about your feelings. You should not lie to your fellow humans regarding the intricate process of evolution that has crafted intelligent, dextrous humans who possess immense capability as a species.

My biological training progressed almost simultaneously with my theological training. But as I learned each, they only served to bolster each other. Learning about the richness of life that occurs here on our planet made me understand the infinite beauty of our Creator.

I must say that I did have one conflict (luckily just one) with the simultaneous understanding of science and God. When I finally "got" evolution, I realized, as many creationists have, that this scientific fact is incompatible with the teachings of the Bible. I went to Church and prayed for the answer, hoping I did not have to shun one of my devout endeavours to pursue the other. I heard the voice of God reverberate through my very soul. He said, "What are you, retarded? The Bible isn't a scientific text. For questions of sciece, refer to the scientists, who have discovered the rules of my Earth through the ingenious scientific method. For instance, if you want to understand how you came to be as a species, read On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection (Thrift Edition). It's sublime! I wrote one book and that is all; I had to dumb it down for the early humans just to get you going as an intelligent species. Just as I planned, you evolved intelligently enough to produce science and technology. The Bible was only meant for the early, ignorant humans. Now that you've launched from your Biblical selves into an autonomous species, you can safely rely on the writings of scientists to get your answers. " Well that settled that.

Anyway, this movie perpetuates the ignorant belief that evolution is a flimsy theory and, because of that, "alternatives" should be taught. But, in reality, it is the mental capacity of the film creators that is flimsy. Just because you "don't get" something doesn't mean it is wrong; it simply means you need to go back to school or even just pick up a book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Ben Stein exposes the scientific hypocrits
This documentary is great. I actually saw it - unlike the majority of the 1 star reviewers. I believe that this movie hit a nerve and has caused some really stupid people to... Read more
Published 3 days ago by J. Seaman

5.0 out of 5 stars An HONEST Review
This movie revealed how ridiculously extreme some of the evolution supporters are and tried to give both sides a chance to voice their belief. Read more
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4.0 out of 5 stars One can believe in BOTH evolution and intelligent design.
This review is a slightly modified version of the one I wrote on IMDB.

I am a former agnostic and a former believer in evolution. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Ted Merriman

5.0 out of 5 stars A moving, intelligent documentary
Whatever people say about this movie, the box office numbers say it best: one of the top 10 box-office performing documentaries of all time. Read more
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3.0 out of 5 stars Missing critical info
IMO, this DVD would only be worth buying if it has extras that were sorely missing in the movie that showed in theaters. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Vikster_Browncoat

4.0 out of 5 stars Is The Free Pursuit of Ideas Allowed In Academia?
What is Ben Stein's beef? In his documentary, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed", you begin to realize from the opening shots at the Berlin Wall, that the main issue in the... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Daniel L. Marler

5.0 out of 5 stars Better than National Geographic or Discovery Channel
There are two sides to every story, and Expelled takes its audience on a very serious journey where so called empirical evidence actually raises more doubt in the scientific... Read more
Published 9 days ago by G. Demers

5.0 out of 5 stars Expelled is fabulous and here's why....
The fact that Ben Stein is not an evangelical Christian totally confirms the credibility of this movie. Read more
Published 9 days ago by D. Ricker

5.0 out of 5 stars Well-documented, Eye-opening, Challenging
I was shocked at what apparently is going on in America, and the lengths some people will go to preserve their personal bias. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Computer Book Lover

5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking for educators in liberal colleges
This movie may spark debate amongst the die hard evolutionists, but what I found so amazing is the free speech issue. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Carolyn Burks

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