The Wall Street Journal reports:
Actor Ben Stein’s controversial documentary, which blasts evolution in favor of intelligent design, is up for the sale to the highest bidder.
That’s right. Between June 21 and June 28, you can submit bids online for all the rights to Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed film. According to Forbes, it’s up for grabs as part of the liquidation of film producer Premise Media Holdings LP. The company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in December 2009 and is now seeking to sell the rights, court papers show.
In the film, Stein—a lawyer and former speechwriter for President Richard Nixon as well as the monotone-voiced teacher in both the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and television’s “The Wonder Years”—argues that the academic world unfairly punishes those who question evolution and support the theory of intelligent design.
But critics far and wide trashed the film, with Time magazine stating that he “makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution,” and the New York Times (Stein’s former employer) calling the film “one of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time…a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.”
But what really drew the ire of critics and scientists was Stein’s claim that Darwin’s theory of natural selection could be the cause of “euthanasia, abortion, eugenics and—wait for it—Nazism,” according to Time. But perhaps the most notorious pan came from noted film critic Roger Ebert:
“Stein…takes a field trip to visit one ‘result’ of Darwinism: Nazi concentration camps. ‘As a Jew,’ he says, ‘I wanted to see for myself.’ We see footage of gaunt, skeletal prisoners. Pathetic children. A mound of naked Jewish corpses. ‘It’s difficult to describe how it felt to walk through such a haunting place,’ he says. Oh, go ahead, Ben Stein. Describe. It filled you with hatred for Charles Darwin and his followers, who represent the overwhelming majority of educated people in every nation on earth. It is not difficult for me to describe how you made me feel by exploiting the deaths of millions of Jews in support of your argument for a peripheral Christian belief. It fills me with contempt.”
Among the film’s fans, however, is California’s Biola University, the private Christian university that recognized Stein with the 2008 Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth. The award is named for a legal scholar who is a well-known proponent of intelligent design, according to the Christian Post.