One doesn’t expect scientific rigor from show-biz oriented Variety, which describes itself as “the premier source of entertainment news,” and there certainly isn’t any in their review of Ben Stein’s anti-science “documentary”: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.
Indeed, the review expresses some sympathy for Stein’s cause, saying: “There’s an intelligent case to be made for intelligent design …” Nevertheless, even the entertainment writers at Variety have grasped some of the major flaws in Stein’s propaganda film. For example:
But as its awkward title suggests, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is more interested in portraying its subjects as victims than in rigorously examining and defending what they have to say. An open-minded viewer wants more than just sob stories and conspiracy theories; one hopes to hear conventional wisdom challenged and little-known facts brought to light.
Fantastic! Even Variety can easily see the lack of substance in Stein’s work. The review continues:
But it’s easier to critique evolution (oddly, the gaps in the fossil record, which even biologists concede, are never addressed) than to mount evidence for intelligent design, and the filmmakers’ failure to offer even a working definition of the term leaves them open to the common charge that it’s all unprovable, faith-based pseudo-science.
This is most encouraging. Contrary to the fervent hopes of the film’s makers, its obvious lack of substance actually hurts their cause! The review concludes:
If evolution is worth debating, it’s worth debating well, and by a more intelligently designed film than this one.