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Originally published Friday, April 18, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Movie review

According to "Expelled," Darwinism responsible for everything from atheism to abortion

Pop quiz: What is the real source of evil in the modern world? Greed? Intolerance? Well, according to "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,"...

Movie review (NO STARS)

"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," a documentary with Ben Stein. Directed by Nathan Frankowski, from a screenplay by Stein. 97 minutes. Rated PG for thematic material, some disturbing images and brief smoking. Several theaters.

Pop quiz: What is the real source of evil in the modern world? Greed? Intolerance?

Well, according to "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," it's Darwinism, described as a philosophy that posits the pointlessness of life and encourages the "de-privileging of human beings" — and as such is responsible for everything from atheism to abortion, euthanasia to the Holocaust.

And here I thought evolution had something to do with the Galapagos and "Inherit the Wind."

A hard-core, fundamentalist bit of right-wing propaganda, "Expelled" slyly appropriates its style from liberal and left-wing sources, sending Ben Stein out to do deadpan interviews with a grab-bag of people, while intercutting old movies, new animation and newsreel footage.

This is all fine — a number of comedy shows and documentaries have been hard-core, left-wing propaganda, serving up more red-meat entertainment than useful information. But Jon Stewart is a lot funnier than Stein.

Stephen Whitty, Newhouse News Service

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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