My friend and colleague Peter Chattaway has joined the growing list of Christian film critics who have very mixed feelings about Expelled: No Intelligence Necessary.

His review is published at BC Christian News.

He comments even further at his blog.

Here are some memorable moments:


Whether that’s true is not for me to say. But the film itself — which I saw at a local post-production facility in downtown Vancouver — certainly plunges into its controversial subject matter in a way that is designed to get attention, provoke laughter, stimulate outrage and generally produce more heat than light.

In many ways, Expelled follows the template set by Michael Moore and his imitators.

The film … uses cheesy archival footage to mock some of the atheists’ claims; and the closest it ever comes to explaining what ID theory actually is, and thus whether it deserves any sort of scientific attention, comes via a cheeky animated sequence on ‘The Casino of Life’ that is similar in feel and tone to the history-of-guns bit in Moore’s film Bowling for Columbine.

Alas, the film also cherry-picks quotes in a way that will be disappointing to anyone who is familiar with the debate over ID and the origins of life. British scientists-turned-clergymen Alister McGrath and John Polkinghorne are dropped in for a few seconds to explain that religion and science can get along, but no mention is made of the fact that both men subscribe to evolutionary theory and are critical of ID.

And Stein’s climactic interview with Dawkins includes an exchange that is treated like a major ‘gotcha!’ moment, yet if anything it suggests there is something fundamentally dishonest, or at least disingenuous, about the ID movement.


Matters are further confused by the fact that the film never acknowledges that some ID theorists actually believe in evolution, albeit perhaps only to a point. Instead, the film allows the viewer to think that ID and evolution are natural enemies — an idea deepened by the film’s efforts to link Darwinism with the Holocaust.


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