According to my traffic log, this post has become one of the most frequently visited in my entire blog. Apparently it shows up high on the top of Google searches for info about the movie. But since this post has little information, I figured I should probably rewrite this with all the information concerning the movie I can put together for everyone coming here looking for such things. The original post is below.
First off, what is this movie? Expelled claims to be a documentary showing the persecution of those supporting Intelligent Design in the academic community.
In reality, it's nothing less than a distorted propaganda piece.
In order to produce the film, the producers knowingly lied to the evolution supporters it interviewed regarding the nature and purpose of the film. This was done in the case of PZ Myers, as well as Richard Dawkins, and Eugenie Scott in which they told they were being interviewed for a film called Crossroads which was intended to be a balanced look at evolution and Intelligent Design (we'll see later just how "even" this is). Although producer Mark Mathis has claimed that this was a "working title", this is belied by the fact that the domain name for Expelled was purchased two months before the interviews took place while no domain was ever purchased for any film of the name Crossroads.
In this film, they also claim to show how ID proponents were persecuted. However, the film apparently grossly misrepresents the cases of ID sympathizers.
One of their martyrs is Guillermo Gonzalez who was recently denied tenure from Iowa State. The ID crowd claims it was because of his ID views. They even went so far as to obtain departmental Emails under the freedom of information act and then quote mine from them. But in reality, the major factor cited was the wholesale drop in actual academic productivity and publications since beginning at Iowa state and failure to move into a primary position in the department. The film also ignores the fact that tenure in the Astronomical field is also notoriously hard to achieve, with only 4 out of 12 candidates at Iowa state gaining tenure in the past decade. Also cited in the tenure denial was the underwhelming lack of funds that Gonzalez was able to attract in grants for the university. Apparently, none of this information is passed along in the film.
Also presented in the film is the case of Richard Sternberg, who, on his way out of the door, put a paper by Discovery Institute Founder, Stephen Meyer into the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, a scientific journal he edited. However, it became apparent that by allowing himself to be one of the reviewers and not used an assistant editor, he had intentionally biased the selection process which typically requires that reviewers not be inherently favorable to the topic as Sternberg was. As such, the council incharge of the paper, "deemed the paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings because the subject matter represents such a significant departure from the nearly purely systematic content..."
Caroline Crocker is another ID advocate presented in the film, who claims that she was discriminated against and her academic freedom restricted for inserting pro-ID rhetoric into her cell biology course at George Mason University. She claimed that evolution was false because, "[n]o one has ever seen a dog turn into a cat in a laboratory." This is, of course, a pathetic strawman version of evolution and reveals either a profound misunderstanding of basic biology (which would have made Crocker inappropriate for the position) or outright dishonesty to students (which is similarly inappropriate). Regardless, Expelled and other ID advocates hide behind the guise of "academic freedom". GMU spokesman, Daniel Walsch, noted that, "teachers also have a responsibility to stick to subjects they were hired to teach .... Does academic freedom "literally give you the right to talk about anything, whether it has anything to do with the subject matter or not? The answer is no." Incidentally, although the GMU had clear grounds for dismissal, Crocker was not fired, although her contract was not renewed.
Meanwhile, while the film proclaims to support academic inquiry and open discussion, press conferences have been staged with pre-written questions and actual questions from the press, being screened. Similarly, the producers have been attempting to control who is and is not able to see the movie and attempts to disinvite and remove people that are not sympathetic to their cause. Similarly, they have lied and claimed showings were canceled to those they deemed undesirable.
This is just a symptom of the refusal to offer itself for criticism (as with the rest of the ID movement). The film doesn't even bother defining Intelligent Design nor Evolution. Instead, it merely attempts to conflate Evolution with Nazis, eugenics, atheism, and racism. None of these are actually true.
Recently, Expelled has also become the target of a lawsuit for plagiarism when it was realized that an animation used in the film was a close replica of a film produced for Harvard by XVIVO. This film had earlier been used for profit in lectures by William Dembski who used an altered version with a Creationist narration and the Harvard credits stripped. Although some creationists would try to argue that the producers of Expelled tried to make their own animation separate than the XVIVO one, the Expelled animation makes the same simplifications, leaving out the same proteins. Additionally, Dembski admitted to being in contact with the producers who long ago set aside money for what was to be an inevitable law suit. Thus, we can only conclude that they fully understood their culpability in the infringement.
Additionally, to promote the film, the company is offering rebates and discounts, specifically targeting "faith ministries and organizations, church groups, youth and university groups" (and they wonder why people see a religious agenda? Especially when they keep giving screenings at infamous creationist "museums" and other religious institutions).
So, as we can see, Expelled has absolutely pathetic standards. It lied to get interviews, distorts positions, hypocritically stifles questioning, and intends to bribe students from classrooms to see this propaganda which doesn't even define its own position, but rather relies on emotional appeals and falsehoods to make their arguments.
Original post is below
The intarweb is buzzing about a new creationist "documentary" about how they've been unfairly kicked out of the scientific establishment (as if they deserved to be let in, in the first place after Behe affirmed that "there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred" during the Dover Trial pg 22-23). The film is reported to star Ben Stein and a "Cast of thousands".
However, it doesn't look like I can find any supporting evidence for the actual existence of this film, either on Ben Stein's official website or on IMDB which frequently lists films that aren't even in pre-production. Needless to say, I'm somewhat skeptical that this is in any way real.
Update: Looks like a number of other sources have confirmed the film. Of course, being the dishonest lot they are, the ID crowd has had to resort to deception to get interviews. Shame I wasn't interviewed. After all, I'm a perfect example of "Anti-ID intolerance". Sounds like just what they'd want!