Watchdog groups are condemning a new anti-evolution film that suggests Darwinism gave rise to Nazism and the Holocaust. â€œExpelled: No Intelligence Allowed,â€ a documentary hosted by Jewish television personality Ben Stein, opened in more than 1,000 theaters April 18 and grossed $5.3 million its first 10 days. Produced by Premise Media, which is devoted to the family and faith markets, the film alleges that creationism and its supporters have been unfairly silenced by â€œBig Science.â€ The film shows Nazi footage of a German mental hospital that urged the elimination of â€œmental deficientsâ€ and mass graves at Dachau. The narration draws a parallel between these atrocities and Darwinâ€™s â€œsurvival of the fittestâ€ theory.
The Anti-Defamation League blasted the film Tuesday, saying in a statement that it â€œmisappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community.â€ The ADL adds, â€œHitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people.â€ The Oakland, Calif-based National Center for Science Education, which defends the teaching of evolution in the public schools, has â€œhad its eye onâ€ the film for a few months, according to spokeswoman Susan Spath. â€œWe are concerned about the long-term impact of this film and its irresponsible misrepresentation of a terrible history,â€ she said. â€œIt propagates the message that Nazis were Darwinist, with the implication that todayâ€™s Darwinists are proto-Nazis, and thatâ€™s not OK.â€ Reviewers have widely trounced the film. The Village Voice called it â€œbizarre and hysterical.â€