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Good news and bad news for Expelled

As 2008 drew to a close, the good news for the producers of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed was that their creationist propaganda movie was getting a bit of press again. The bad news is that it was in the lists of the worst movies of 2008. The Onion's A.V. Club (December 16, 2008), was quickest out of the gate, commenting, "There are terrible movies, and then there are terrible movies that cause harm to society by feeding into its ignorance. Nathan Frankowski's odious anti-evolution documentary belongs in the latter category. ... Few moments in cinema in 2008 were as shameless and disgusting as the Expelled sequence where Stein solemnly visits a Nazi death camp and unsubtly links 'survival of the fittest' theory to the Holocaust."

John Serba of the Grand Rapids Press (December 26, 2008) wrote, "Ben Stein hosts this pro-Intelligent Design documentary that forgets to include a compelling argument for this viewpoint, and instead chooses to equate Darwinism and its legions of rational scientist followers with Nazis and the Holocaust. Facts rooted in reality are at a premium in this insidious, crassly manipulative dreck." Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel (December 26, 2008) commented, "Ben Stein's documentary was a cynical attempt to sucker Christian conservatives into thinking they're losing the 'intelligent design' debate because of academic 'prejudice.'" Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger (December 27, 2008) described Expelled as lifting "its nonsensical knowledge of early man from an Alley Oop comic and its sense of honest inquiry from a snake-handling preacher." In the LA City Beat (December 30, 2008), Andy Klein wrote, "Stein's 'intelligent design' documentary has all the red flags — inadequate or misleading identification of interviewees, aggressively manipulative editing, extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence, and extreme leaps of logic ... particularly suggesting guilt by association, even to the point of laying blame for the Holocaust on Darwin." And Ken Hanke of the Ashville, North Carolina, Mountain Xpress (December 31, 2008) said that Expelled was "as corrupt a piece of work as you’ll ever encounter."

Expelled fared no better north of the border. Jay Stone of the Canwest News Service (December 26, 2008) described Expelled as "a masterwork of intellectual dishonesty." And Richard Crouse of Canada AM (December 30, 2008) commented, "Wrapping his thesis in good old American jingoistic rhetoric — remember this guy used to write speeches for Nixon — Stein repeatedly compares Darwinist scientists to communists by the suggestion that the only way they can get funding for research is to be good Darwinist 'comrades' and even makes the outrageous connection between Darwin's theory and Nazism." Crouse added, "Perhaps it isn't just a coincidence that the host's initials are B.S."