Roger Ebert on Expelled

Roger EbertRoger Ebert

The popular film critic Roger Ebert reviewed the creationist propaganda movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed in a December 3, 2008, post entitled "Win Ben Stein's mind" on his blog on the Chicago Sun-Times website — and he pulled no punches. "The more you know about evolution, or simple logic, the more you are likely to be appalled by the film. No one with an ability for critical thinking could watch more than three minutes without becoming aware of its tactics," he wrote.

"This film is cheerfully ignorant, manipulative, slanted, cherry-picks quotations, draws unwarranted conclusions, makes outrageous juxtapositions (Soviet marching troops representing opponents of ID), pussy-foots around religion (not a single identified believer among the ID people), segues between quotes that are not about the same thing, tells bald-faced lies, and makes a completely baseless association between freedom of speech and freedom to teach religion in a university class that is not about religion," he added.

"And there is worse, much worse," Ebert continued, taking especial offense at Expelled's claim that the acceptance of evolution resulted in the Holocaust — "It fills me with contempt." Previously, the Anti-Defamation League said that the movie's claim "is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry." Expelled's lead, Ben Stein, responded, "It's none of their f---ing business," according to Peter McKnight, writing in the Vancouver Sun (June 21, 2008).

For a thorough critique of Expelled, including a collection of links to reviews of the movie, visit NCSE's Expelled Exposed website. Additionally, the next issue of Reports of the NCSE (volume 28, numbers 5-6) is a special issue devoted to debunking Expelled, containing reports on its reception, a summary of the ways in which organizations with a stake in the creationism/evolution controversy reacted, a summary of the various controversies over its use of copyrighted material, and a detailed explanation of its unsuitability for the classroom.

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