Friday, April 04, 2008


Condé Nast on Expelled

Felix Salmon has another review of Expired (whatever) by a non-Kool-Aid drinker that is well worth the read:

In general, the film (to a godless audience of New Yorker media types, at least) seemed to fall somewhere between the pathetic and the self-defeating. (Stein literally segues, at one point, from ridiculing the "directed panspermia" hypothesis to saying that science outright refutes any directed explanation for the origins of life. You can have it one way, but you can't have it both ways.)

But there's a large chunk of the film which is downright offensive, too - when Stein talks at length about the Holocaust and blames it directly on Darwin, who is called "a necessary condition" for National Socialism. And then, just to make matters worse, Stein extends that theme to include abortion rights in general, and Planned Parenthood in particular: he's basically saying that all pro-choicers are Nazis. Ugh.
Interestingly, Salmon notes:

... most of the "movie clips" at this site are not in the cut that I saw (which I believe is the final cut). Those clips actually engage the subject of evolution, which is something the film really doesn't do, weirdly enough.
For the framists and anti-framists alike, there is this:

The film sets up Dawkins, Myers and other atheists against the likes of Eugenie Scott, of the National Center for Science Education, who sees less of a conflict between science and Christianity. And weirdly the film comes down on the side of the atheists in this debate: Darwinism does lead to atheism, we're told over and over again, by atheists and believers alike.

At this point it's worth remembering that atheists are America's least trusted group - if you want to stir up an irrational response directed against any group of people, one of the best ways of doing that, in America, is to label them atheists. ...

[I]n America; "atheist" is very much a negative term. And while Expelled naturally can't do a very good job of persuading its viewers that Darwinism is unscientific, it can do a good job of persuading them that it's atheistic. It's cheap, and underhanded, and pretty bloody effective.
And so it goes ...

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