There's a shakeup in the cult of neo-Darwinist pseudo-science, and that endearing, monotone high school teacher of “Ferris Bueller” fame is doing the shaking.
With his new feature documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” (opening in theaters April 18), Ben Stein — actor, economist, presidential speechwriter and all around really smart guy — squares off with some of the world's most prominent anti-theist elites as he gets to the heart of the question, “Who are we, and how did we get here?”
This is not your father's documentary. “Expelled” rocks the house both literally and figuratively. It's gripping, music-packed, comically wry and always entertaining. But its entertainment value is yet surpassed by its educational merit. Throughout the film, Stein boldly shines a light of honest inquiry, revealing time and again that Evolution's Emperor has no clothes. In his trademark deadpan fashion, Stein skillfully debunks the dogmatic neo-Darwinist programming we've all had relentlessly rammed down our throats ever since “Big Science” went bananas over that cute little Scopes Monkey.
Unlike Michael Moore's anti-Bush propaganda flick “Fahrenheit 911” — which sold us a lemon with deceptive editing techniques and staged confrontations — “Expelled” is intellectually honest, cerebrally stimulating and delectably provocative.
Nonetheless, there are those who won't like it, not one little bit.
Enter Richard Dawkins. Dawkins, a prominent evolutionist, outspoken atheist and the best-selling author of “The God Delusion,” is featured throughout the film. In one segment, he sits down with Stein for a heart-to-heart. After dancing around several pointed questions about how life began, Dawkins finds himself at a logical impasse with no surplus of sci-fi rhetoric. He's finally forced to concede that, indeed, an intelligent being may have created life on earth. However, that being could not have been “God,” but rather, it must have been some organic, alien life form. Of course, that alien life form has to have been a product of “Darwinian evolution.”
Through tears of wild laughter, audience members watch as Dawkins — apparently grasping the dizzying nature of his own circular argument — turns three shades of red and becomes purply tight-lipped.
Dawkins? … Dawkins? …