Expelled Beats Sicko

Metacritic (a review aggregator) gives Michael Moore’s latest movie Sicko a 74 out of 100, while the new Expelled gets only a 20Expelled, however, is a better movie.

In Sicko, Moore shows US folks facing high prices for docs, drugs, and surgery.  Sad anxious people find that if they can’t pay, they may not be treated.  But then we see happy glad folks in England, France, and Canada getting all the medicine they want for free.  Free good, expensive bad — that is the depth of Moore’s celebrated case for universal care.

Sicko makes Expelled seem like a graduate seminar.  In Expelled, experts on many sides speak at length in their own words.  The movie makes a good case for its main claim, that intelligent design advocates are shunned by academia.  And they get opponent Richard Dawkins to admit a 1% chance of God, and a higher chance Earth life may have been designed by distant ancient higher powers.  Both these estimates justify devoting higher-than-now fractions of origin-of-life research to such possibilities.  (And I estimate betting markets would endorse >1% chances for these.)

For my taste, the movie overdid threats to a mythical "academic freedom" that supposedly made the US great, but probably never existed.  It also overdid how understanding Darwin leads people to reject God, and emboldened Nazis to brutality.  These claims are not relevant to the truth of intelligent design, but they are admittedly true and relevant to most viewers’ desire to avoid beliefs with such consequences. 

Sadly, it seems reviewers praised Sicko because they agreed with universal care, and panned Expelled because they disagreed with intelligent design.  The tug-o-war continues.

Should-be-unneeded disclaimers: There are good arguments possible for universal care, and in a betting market I’d probably be short both God and universal design.

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