Pharyngula

Expelled, coming up fast

The new preview for the movie Expelled looks very slick and professional — there are some deep pockets behind this effort.

You’ll catch on to the major themes of the movie right away: God and paranoia. It begins with Stein setting the stage for a conflict between two worldviews: it’s “Everything on earth was created by a loving god” vs. “Some think we’re nothing but mud animated by lightning”. It’s interesting that Stein is very open about the religious underpinnings of Intelligent Design creationism, something the Discovery Institute would rather hide, while so grossly misrepresenting evolutionary theory…but then, that’s what it is all about, making an emotional appeal to the religious while burying the intellectual power of evolution beneath a caricature. So right from the beginning we’re given the message that supporting ID is about supporting god-belief.

The paranoia is grandiose. The clip Godwins us at about 2:10, with shots of Hitler; later, after showing us the “persecuted” “scientists”, we get a few shots of Nazi concentration camps. Subtlety is not going to be this movie’s forte. Oh, and poor Sternberg and Meyer — they lost their jobs and livelihood (uh, not really, but the narration talks about generic people losing jobs while showing those two … but I don’t think either has felt even the slightest economic twinge from their foolishness), all because of they dared to publish that maybe human beings weren’t lightning-animated mud.

This is a conspiracy not just by scientists, but by the media, courts and educational system. It ends with a warning that just seeing this movie might cost viewers their friends, their jobs, their life (OK, not the last bit, but it was getting pretty melodramatic). The closing scene is just weird: a custodian walks into the room Stein has just left and inspects what has been left with a scowl. Ze Darvinist schpies, zey are EVERYVHERE! The ushers at the theater will have secret radios to report your presence at the movie! Be afraid!

It’s going to appeal strongly to the religious, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, and the ignorant — which means they’re going to draw in about 90% of the American market. I see two potential weaknesses: 1) they lie everytime they mention evolution, which we already know is tough to counter, and 2) it really is unbelievably way over the top. Unfortunately, in this age of Fox News, it may not be possible to go enough over the top to trigger anyone’s suspicions anymore.

We also get a preview of the many quote minings to come. They’ve got Dawkins saying, “As a scientist, I’m pretty hostile to a rival doctrine…” — I’m willing to bet that he went on to explain exactly what it was in that doctrine that makes him hostile to it, but of course we aren’t going to hear that part.

Anyway, we’re going to have an interesting time in February when this piece of propaganda is released. I suspect its half-truths and claims of persecution and martyrdom will suck in a lot of people — they aren’t going to bother explaining the bogosities behind their ideology, and it’s going to be up to us to rip into it and expose the falsehoods. It would be better, though, if we had some millions of dollars and a professional production crew to counter their glib lies with some well-presented truths.

(via The Bad Idea Blog)

Comments

  1. #1 Blake Stacey
    November 25, 2007

    It would be better, though, if we had some millions of dollars and a professional production crew to counter their glib lies with some well-presented truths.

    Oh, I’m sure we’ll do just fine, as long as we refine our message and make sure we don’t needlessly offend people. I mean, good framing is even better than personnel and monetary resources, isn’t it?

  2. #2 Brian English
    November 25, 2007

    Lying for Jebus is big business. The truth doesn’t have as deep pockets. Still, we have PZ et al. :P

  3. #3 Anon
    November 25, 2007

    Perhaps it is fate that the MST3K people have started working together again.

  4. #4 Abbie
    November 25, 2007

    I love how he tied in “anyone? anyone?”

  5. #5 Bad
    November 25, 2007

    Don’t miss the other fun bits: the cheetah taking down and tearing apart its prey right when Stein is talking about Darwinists “punishing” dissenters.

    The way the music ever so slightly gets sinister when Stein is talking about what “other people” think.

    Especially notice the guy who is hidden from view, supposedly because we’d all murder him in his sleep if we knew his identity. I think it would be just about the funniest thing ever if this person turns out to be Sam Chen, head of IDURC. Why so funny? Because not only is Chen already an open ID proponent, but last year he handed out a “Phillip Johnson award for bravery” to an anonymous recipient, supposedly because revealing her identity would ruin her career. The punchline, however, was the winner was actually another very public ID supporter (she was president of an IDEA Chapter, worked with Chen and others, wrote pro-ID editorials, etc.), making the whole “anonymous” mystique a ridiculous farce.

  6. #6 Martin
    November 25, 2007

    Are they actually going to try to go theatrical with this, or will it be direct-to-DVD with promotional bombardment aimed at churches? Seems like that would be the most effective way for them to go. Keeping the film within the flock, so to speak, will avoid the likelihood that anyone in the evil lib’rul mainstream media will have cause to upset the applecart by publishing refutations of its bullshit claims.

  7. #7 Bad
    November 25, 2007

    I think you should be almost hurt, PZ that you weren’t featured in the intro. I mean, Dawkins got in there TWICE, and no offense to Kathleen Townsend, but even if she was a Lt. Governor, she’s not exactly a big name in science debates.

    They must be saving the really good firebreathing clips for the climax of the film. :)

  8. #8 Bad
    November 25, 2007

    UD calls it a “preview.” Often films will release like the first couple of minutes, or the intro, as promotional materials, even though they aren’t outright trailers.

    Note that the marketing campaign behind this film is almost more important and more dangerous than the film itself. They hired the Passion of the Christ folks who were so successful at marketing that movie through social networks and viral campaigns. This film also has all sorts of activism resources associated with it that they are slowly rolling out, all targeting the idea that kids and parents need to start pushing harder on schools, asking questions, challenging biology teachers, and so on. These campaigns will be pushed out through materials and action pamphlets in churches, as well as materials supposedly to “help” schools.

    They’re basically looking for that lame Jack Chick tract to play out in schools across America (the one where the bright young Aryan evangelical confronts the dark sweaty Darwinist teacher in class and shows him up… in Chick’s fevered dreams).

  9. #9 rc
    November 25, 2007

    This movie will play very well in places like the Panhandle of Texas. I can already see the yellow buses lined up outside the movie theaters (private schools and churches, and maybe even public school buses!).

    Of course, they can’t practice what they preach. Try admitting that you’re an atheist in one of these locales and see how much acceptance you get.

  10. #10 cleveDan
    November 25, 2007

    In honor of the release of the movie you should post a list of papers supporting evolution that have been published in between ……say, the day you were interviewed for this crap and the day it was released.
    I can’t wait for all the factual take-downs of Expelled. I vote for ERV to handle the HIV part:)
    The discovery Institute must be trying to get them to leave some of this “god stuff” on the cutting room floor

  11. #11 bacopa
    November 25, 2007

    I usd to think that every time Ben Stein lost on “Win Ben Stein’s Money” he had thrown the game. Now I’m not so sure.

  12. #12 Bjorn, James Bjorn
    November 25, 2007

    To me it more looks like the janitor in the end of the preview is just annoyed that some old bozo sneaked in after hours and wrote on the blackboard, and that he now has to clean that shit up too.

  13. #14 Geral
    November 25, 2007

    I like the bits of Nazi Germany and the concentration camps. His warnings about losing everything by watching this film were pretty dramatic, now I MUST see this film to see the TRUTH! I must risk everything!

    Oh boy.

    I can’t wait for this to hit theaters.

  14. #15 Les Lane
    November 25, 2007

    That was the longest, boringest piece of yawn I ever watched.

    Welcome to intelligent design. The general public will find it far less exciting.

  15. #16 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 25, 2007

    What amazes me in this introduction is that all of the claims that Stein narrates have been rebutted and clarified so many times that they have special entries in the talk.origins archives. And then I realized that not everybody has been following this all that closely.

    What I mean by that, is that unless a layperson has been reading and boning up and taking the time to get the answers to what is happening in the creationist wars, it will make perfect sense to him or her that the doors of academia are closed to dissenting views. Oy, what a time we will have after this is released

  16. #17 Scott Hatfield, OM
    November 26, 2007

    PZ:

    The new preview for the movie Expelled looks very slick and professional — there are some deep pockets behind this effort.

    You know, maybe I’m just going off the deep end, but all of this stuff just makes me suspicious. I watched the whole clip. It was all DI boilerplate. Hmmmm….

    In the past, the DI used a front company, Illustra Media, to make their ID-friendly science ‘documentary’ Unlocking the Mystery of Life. Now along comes this film Expelled, whose producers used a front to obtain their interviews with you PZ etc. with a phony project description. Sans disclaimers about exclusive use in the release waivers you signed, PZ, these clowns can now edit said interviews to make their desired points.

    (Example: notice the clip where Dawkins is cut off right where he uses the word ‘doctrine': that will no doubt be used to make the fallacious argument that evolutionary biology, or ‘Darwinism’, is a doctrine/dogma/belief system.)

    Finally, I point out that there are several thousand words over on the DI web sites justifying their non-participation in the recent NOVA documentary because of their concern that the exact same stunt would be done to them. Sounds like they’re reading from their own script to me!

    Under the circumstances, I feel justified in predicting that financial links between DI participants and the production company will eventually emerge. The sooner the better!

  17. #18 Ed Darrell
    November 26, 2007

    See, one of the coolest predictions in evolution is the American cheetah. American antelope can sprint at about 70 mph for a bit. Such speed is only known in African ungulates that avoid cheetahs. Only there is no predator in America that can run that fast.

    So, how did the American antelope develop such speed? Zoologists said there had to be a predator, now extinct, that DID run that fast. They predicted fossils would be found of an American cheetah.

    Sure enough, a couple of seasons later paleontologists found a cat predator, an extinct one. It had the flexible spine of the African cheetah, and in other ways had a skeleton devised for chasing down fleeing antelope at about 70 mph.

    But now:

    Here’s what I’ve learned from this video:
    before the era of Darwin, cheetahs were vegetarians.

    So, how does intelligent design explain the speed of the antelope, and the lack of speed in vegetables?

  18. #19 Chris R.
    November 26, 2007

    Wow, it took them about 3/4 of the preview to get to a Dawkins quote mine (in video, no less, though that has been done before with the question about mutations in that other documentary).

    There’s no way in hell he’d say “As a scientist, I am pretty hostile to a rival doctrine” and just leave it at that. The blatant dishonesty these people parade around shouldn’t surprise me, but it continues to reach new levels.

  19. #20 Marcus Ranum
    November 26, 2007

    Expelled I: the Russell Case

    http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2001/ND/BR/Lebe.htm

    Not much I could find on it on the Internet. I dunno why. It’s a wonderful rock to bash intolerant bible bangers with.

  20. #21 Bob O'H
    November 26, 2007

    So, how does intelligent design explain the speed of the antelope, and the lack of speed in vegetables?

    Stupid! Stupid! Obviously the fruit were able to run around too. I think this means that the apple fell further than we did.

    Bob

  21. #22 Janine
    November 26, 2007

    Marcus, you can find an account of that episode in Russell’s “Why I Am Not A Christine”. It was named for the essay of the same name.

    Was I the only one who thought that the opening was much like a slasher film. Dark hallway and then move in on a lone figure acting in isolation.

    Wow, imagine if Galileo and Einstein were in the twenty first century US. Galileo would have had worse then living in house arrest for the last years of his life. And Einstein would have got off easy just being a refuge with a few paranoid police organizations tagging him.

    Also, Ben Stein already lost Godwin’s Law.

  22. #23 Sister Novena
    November 26, 2007

    Okay, check this out…

    I work in film and media, specifically doing a lot of editing of documentary material. I’ve been keeping tabs on this film because the producers’ tactics, while not exactly contrary to documentary standards, appear so far to be grossly unethical, and I’ve been curious to see how things turn out.

    That particularly egregious Dawkins quote, (“As a scientist, I’m pretty hostile to a rival doctrine…” ) is not, in fact, an example of quote mining. Rather, I’d wager, it’s an example of outright quote fabrication.

    Take another look at it: there’s a big, fat, obvious edit right between the phrases “As a scientist” and “I’m pretty hostile” — it’s not even a good edit, it’s ugly and clunky, which suggests that those two shots were never originally intended to go together. If we saw the original footage, I’d bet every penny I’ve got (not many, admittedly) that we’d hear Dawkins say, “As a scientist, blah blah something completely unrelated…” and at an entirely different point in the footage something like, “…blah blah something else is pretty hostile to a rival doctrine.” Obviously I can’t make a more concrete case without seeing the original footage… but I’m telling you, Dawkins absolutely did NOT say that as a single phrase. If he had, there would be no point in making an edit at that painfully awkward spot. The cut itself is evidence of blatant dishonesty.

    It’s glaring, could not possibly be more obvious. They’re lying their asses off.

  23. #24 Steven Carr
    November 26, 2007

    ‘ “As a scientist, I am pretty hostile to a rival doctrine”

    As a scientist, Dawkins is pretty hostile to his own doctrines.

    That is why they go to peer-review, and are then published, for everybody in the world to take post-shots at them, if they can.

  24. #25 Chris
    November 26, 2007

    I think that the response documentary should be called, “Flunked.”

  25. #26 Castaa
    November 26, 2007

    Thankfully one just needs to point them to the recent PBS Nova ‘Intelligent Design on Trial’ episode. It’s a great counter to this work of fiction/film!!!

    And some of our US tax dollars at work to boot. LOVE IT! :)

  26. #27 J Myers
    November 26, 2007

    … or are we, the universe, and everything in it merely the result of pure, dumb fate and chance

    “Dumb” fate and chance? As opposed to “smart” fate and chance? Or is it only fate that is dumb, while chance is something else (sparkly?). And if fate (dumb or otherwise), how could chance come into play? And if chance, how could fate be said to have any role? Doesn’t each preclude the other? So many questions; I’d better get one of their primers for this thing…..

    … humankind carrying the spark of the devine….

    Could anyone possibly be any more arrogant than this? Sickening.

    … digital code in our DNA….

    Oh, “the code” is there! “The code”! So it’s just like the ‘bible code’ and ‘mathematical miracle of the koran’ people have been telling us. “The code” proves it!

    Yes, total slasher film intro. Anyone catch the Jesus fish on the back of one of the chairs? Nice touch, I thought.

  27. #28 Ross Nixon
    November 26, 2007

    PZ’s 2nd point was that this documentary is “is unbelievably way over the top”. I hope not. That wouldn’t be a “Christian thing” to do.

    Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” propaganda was “way over the top”. I believe Gore agreed, but said that this was justified.
    Is it acceptable for social-activists to lie for an alleged “greater good”?

  28. #29 stevo
    November 26, 2007

    Magic Pixie Dust is not a scientific theory, just like intelligent design.

  29. #30 tacitus
    November 26, 2007

    Okay, was there anything in that clip that could not have been done by a creationist organization like Answers in Genesis or ICR? It had all the elements of a creationist propaganda piece, complete with God, Darwin, and a special guest appearance from Adolf Hitler.

    There is obviously nothing to distinguish Expelled from any number of creationist efforts over the past few years, so why is the DI so high on this piece? Have they finally abandoned all pretense that ID is nothing to do with creationism? I must have missed that memo.

    It’s somewhat surprising really. I suspect that in their effort to appeal to the unwashed fundamentalist masses, the producers have gone overboard with the hype and hysteria over those materialist devils. As a result, the movie will be all but useless to the DI in any remaining dwindling efforts to separate ID from its overtly religious and creationist roots.

    I suspect the DI will be sorely disappointed by the outcome.

  30. #31 mayhempix
    November 26, 2007

    PZ,
    This isn’t all that slick. The costs of video production are plummeting, and everything I saw in that clip could be done with a $1K camera and a $5K Macintosh with Final Cut Pro.
    -jcr
    Posted by: John C. Randolph

    Hi-definition, dollies and lighting don’t cost a grand… you are looking at much higher production costs. There is also some stock footage which is not cheap when bought for theater, cable and TV distribution which I would assume is their goal.

    Plus I doubt Ben Stein is just working for the love of his creator. Although it is interesting to note he is a member of the WGA and supports the strike… closet socialist perhaps? ;^ )

    This has some serious bankroll behind it in terms of high end industrial production, which is exactly who these cranks are… industrial video producers with illusions of a god filled Hollywood dancing in their heads and god-bucks to feed that fantasy.

    My guess is they are shooting with $4,000 to 10,000 Sony and Panasonic Hi-Def cams and, yes, probably cutting on Final Cut, but in Hi-Def and using some 3-D software as well… maybe a budget between half a million to a million by the time it’s distributed.

    This “docu-godporn” is a pernicious piece of propaganda meant to confuse the already confused into believing that “Darwinism” is another ideological evil along with “communism”, “socialism” and other “non-christian” religions (although the Jews get a pass until Rapture time.) The idea that christians are persecuted in the US is just another Orwellian tale being sold to the gullible.

  31. #32 Paul Crowley
    November 26, 2007

    The “pretty hostile” edit:

    We see him speaking during both sides of the cut. So it can’t possibly be continuous speech unless they trained two cameras on him during the interview, which pretty much never happens AIUI.

  32. #33 SEF
    November 26, 2007

    “Some think we’re nothing but mud animated by lightning”

    That would be the religious bunch again though – with their shaped clay figure being animated by the lightning god (who has variously created all light at the start, made big flashy storms and allegedly brings enlightenment). Not that their god(s) is/are real of course.

    Once again they are (falsely) accusing others of the things they themselves believe and do.

  33. #34 MartinM
    November 26, 2007

    As everyone says, I’m way too mellow in person, and the film crew was probably as disappointed as my fans are that I didn’t breathe fire for them. There will probably be some brief partial clip somewhere in there, but I don’t anticipate much more.

    Ah, but remember the audience has no idea that you were misled as to the nature of the movie. As far as they’re concerned, you agreed to be interviewed for Expelled. So Stein can claim that you were playing nice for the camera, then pull out some fire-breathing quotes to ‘expose’ you.

  34. #35 kcanadensis
    November 26, 2007

    I just love how they always mention the “status quo” when really, it’s atheists who are persecuted if we reveal ourselves. The religious are the ones who can throw their weight around and not worry about anyone shunning them. With the exception of science class because religion is not science!

    This movie has really irked me. I hope someone releases a counter movie, honestly. I know we have the poke-fun-at-religion movie coming out in the spring, but that is not a proper response to this bullshit.

  35. #36 katie
    November 26, 2007

    At least he makes the god thing pretty apparent…

    I always wonder why they go after Dawkins. He’s not the president of a university, a journal editor, really anybody that could affect your career (as far as I know). He’s just a writer. And him being hostile towards creationists doesn’t really prove anything about a conspiracy.

  36. #37 Bee
    November 26, 2007

    I predict this film will bomb in Canada. I can’t think of a single person I know, religious or not, who’d bother to go see it, as it sounds irretrievably boring. (Sorry, PZed, not even your likely brief, if illustrious, appearance would compell me to pay money to see it.)

  37. #38 danley
    November 26, 2007

    Oh, I almost forgot: Do not question Ben Stein.

  38. #39 Steve P.
    November 26, 2007

    #46:

    You’re right, and that’s an incredibly important point.

    Dawkins’ quote isn’t a mine, it’s an edit mid-sentence.

    This really points out the incredible hypocrisy of Stein’s quote that strong theories should be confident in the face of disagreement.

  39. #40 Cold One
    November 26, 2007

    “It would be better, though, if we had some millions of dollars and a professional production crew to counter their glib lies with some well-presented truths.”

    Uh yeah, because it’s not like anybody’s ever heard of Darwin or evolution or anything…

  40. #41 Stevie_C
    November 26, 2007

    Apparently not, when almost half the american public doesn’t get it. Or refuses to.

  41. #42 Chris
    November 26, 2007

    I got it! We can make a drinking game out of the movie. Quote-mining = 1 drink. Straw-men= 2 drinks etc. Or a Bingo Game. I think PZ posted a Bingo game on here before. Perhaps we could make a better one. When you’re watching the movie in the theaters. You Yell bingo along with the winning argument that was presented! ex. Bingo for the Straw-man. When your close to bingo you can start repeating over and over what you need to get bingo. ex.. Come on all I need is a quote mine and I got bingo…Come on.

  42. #43 Kristine
    November 26, 2007

    They’re basically looking for that lame Jack Chick tract to play out in schools across America (the one where the bright young Aryan evangelical confronts the dark sweaty Darwinist teacher in class and shows him up… in Chick’s fevered dreams).

    We need a counter-film: Projection, in which kids turn their cells phones on in class and record all of this “oppression.” Stein’s film looks like a bunch of talking heads blatting hearsay. Actual images (evidence) of christian preaching in the classroom and evolution being squashed would make an impact.

  43. #44 Blake Stacey
    November 26, 2007

    Kristine (#82):

    Maybe we should do a dramatic re-enactment of Matthew LaClair’s history class.

  44. #45 Doc Bill
    November 26, 2007

    I thought it interesting that as Stein droned on about scientists who have been persecuted, lost their jobs, had their reputations trashed that they showed pictures of Wells, Behe, Meyers, Sternberg – all of whom are gainfully employed, most of whom are publishing books and, in fact, are making a better living being anti-Darwinists than they would being Darwinists. I fail to see the down side Stein is trying to portray.

    (Sorry for saying “Darwinist,” PZ, I’ll go gargle some ouzo or something.)

  45. #46 Glen Davidson
    November 26, 2007

    And there’s not even a hint of irony that Ben Stein is terribly concerned about what might happen to him as the result of narrating a well-funded propaganda film supported by several institutions and a large mass of dumb-fuck religionists (no, I didn’t say that includes all religious people).

    Hint to Ben the teacher: When no-talent writers and heavily-biased scientists pushing religion into a science that has no use for it can drone on without any fear of punishment (except in free associations expressly developed to deal with empirical knowledge rather than prejudice), the word for such a regime is not “persecution”.

    By the way, Sternberg claimed not to be pushing religion. Try to keep your lies consistent, Ben.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  46. #47 George
    November 26, 2007

    I am about to have an aneurysm from the irony of its subtitle.

  47. #48 Glen Davidson
    November 26, 2007

    The media, the courts, the educational system, everyone is after the stupid theocrats who can’t abide by the rules of science (and yes, it’s pretty clear that collectively they do indeed wish to force their lies into the science curricula, whatever their stooge (Meyer?) said in this piece).

    Yet they move around the country giving speeches, making a considerable amount of money sans science, and vilifying their opponents.

    Gee, Ben, you mean to say that Sternberg and other manipulators of the system are ostracized? Say it isn’t so, surely science should have no standards, and the constant barrage of outright lies about “persecution” should never be stopped or countered.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  48. #49 Rey Fox
    November 26, 2007

    “This is a conspiracy not just by scientists, but by the media, courts and educational system.”

    But TO WHAT END? It’s not like “Darwinists” are asking for money all the time or preaching authoritarianism! I’ve never been able to understand that.

  49. #50 Glen Davidson
    November 26, 2007

    Oh yeah, here is where I documented the protection of a slew of dishonesty slimed out by one “Javascript” from my fisking of his lies, by not publishing my response to his attack:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/11/carnivalia_and_an_open_thread_85.php#comment-625774

    Well, you know the fascism that they see has to come from somewhere, and quite evidently they have it in abundance.

    Glen D

  50. #51 DAVE ID
    November 26, 2007

    It’s like watching The War on Christmas on FOX. Ridiculous.

  51. #52 G
    November 26, 2007

    I think the thing with the janitor is that he used to be a scientist but now wipes floors because he’s a creationist. It’s very badly done but I guess that’s what they tried to do.

  52. #53 Siamang
    November 26, 2007

    I think the funniest part is Ben in his afro during his “activist” days.

    Like “Cool, man, dig the hippy writing speeches for that cool cat Nixon!”

    Fantastic idea for the ID crowd: hire as your narrator a man famous for his boring monotone drone! Why how very very unsmart of you, brainiacs.

  53. #54 Jeff
    November 26, 2007

    Ben has misunderstood his own fame. He is best known for saying “Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…”

  54. #55 Keith Douglas
    November 26, 2007

    #26: And as a propaganda film, we should do our utmost to try to expose whoever the backers are.

  55. #56 Lyle G
    November 27, 2007

    Starts off with ‘created by a loving God…’ Hummm even if there were evidence of creation, how do you deduce ‘loving’? Why not a sadistic Deity who rejoyces in human suffering, or a cold experimentalist who just wants to see how the culture turned out.

  56. #57 arachnophilia
    November 27, 2007

    what was that bit about how intelligent design would have been acceptable “in the era of galileo or einstein, but this is the era of darwin”?

    i mean, that one statement reads wrong in three different ways. first of all, darwin lived before einstein. so if anything, this is the einstein’s era. second, and correct me if i’m wrong, but wasn’t galileo somewhat known for arguing against the commonly held religiosity of his day regarding the way the universe worked, using science? sure, intelligent design would have been totally acceptable then — but that’s a heck of a misuse of someone’s name. third, it just plain reads like modern science has bested theological mumbo-jumbo. it would have squeeked by back then, but NOW…

    i mean, two of those are basic history factoids. the other is basic english argument structuring. and no one has commented yet on how ridiculous and obvious this one sentance is? i was hoping such idiocy would be apparent to everyone.

    now, i guess, my only real hope for the movie is that ben stein will narrate. after all, i don’t believe in sleep-osmosis learning.

  57. #58 R Slade
    November 27, 2007

    Give me proof – and I will accept God,
    simple as that.

    The last 2000 years generated none, but keep’em coming..

  58. #59 madjon
    November 27, 2007

    I just watched the trailer…

    Ha Ha Ha!

    I didn’t realise it was a comedy show. Can’t wait for the full monty.

  59. #60 Amanda
    November 28, 2007

    Thank you. This post is a silver lining. Thank you for all you’ve done on this subject.

    The similarities between the tactics used in the movie and the tactics used by W in the beginning of the war are striking. The word “freedom” is awefully abused these days.

  60. #61 Jim
    March 15, 2008

    Can you prove or say with absolute certainty there is no God. (not unless you are eternal, everywhere present, and all knowing) No more then I can say there is. Sure we can all argue various points regarding our positions but that IS the bottom line. My point? You are presupposing things you can not prove when you rule out a Creator. The different between people of faith and atheists is at least they are honest and call it what is actually is, faith. You dare not admit you must have faith to hold your position. That would make you like “them.” God forbid! Opps sorry.

  61. #62 Owlmirror
    March 15, 2008

    You are presupposing things you can not prove when you rule out a Creator.

    Actually, I haven’t ruled out a creator.

    However, I have ruled out an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent creator, and the creator of the Abrahamic religions. That doesn’t require “faith”; it simply requires clear reason. I’m as certain of it as I am sitting here and typing this.

    Meanwhile, science has come up with many theories based on lots of evidence for a universe in which, so far, no creator has been shown to be necessary. I’m not presupposing anything I cannot prove, there.

  62. #63 Ichthyic
    March 16, 2008

    Sure we can all argue various points regarding our positions but that IS the bottom line.

    nice burden shifting, Jimmy.

    right back at ya:

    Can you PROVE or say with absolute certainty that there is a God?

    your argument consists of nothing more than projection and burden shifting.

    …and everybody has seen it a million times before.

    *yawn*

    god forbid you should recognize an argument that has existed since the idea of deities was invented to begin with.

    oops, sorry.

  63. #64 Jim
    March 16, 2008

    Read my comments again IchthyicY. Did I not say “…no more then I can say there is…” You obviously missed my point. My point is quit trying to hide behind your so called intellectualism as IF your position is soley based on “facts” and any different then that of a theist. You must have faith JUST LIKE we theists must. Pay attention before you open your mouth and insert foot next time.

    p.s. you also might want to take a nap before you comment next time so you aren’t yawning. Kinda rude, don’t you think.

  64. #65 Jim
    March 16, 2008

    Hi Owlmirror. Thanks for the comments, though I am not sure how ruling out a creature of the Judaic variety only requires “clear reason” and not faith. Not disagreeing necessarily, just not clear on what you mean or why you have draw that conclusion.

  65. #66 Jim
    March 16, 2008

    Opps. Brain fart. I meant Creator of a Judaic variety.

  66. #67 eric
    June 24, 2008

    I just read all the comments, this film seems to have caused some controversy even on this web page, People have gotten deffensive over just the preview of this film. I think its interesting. Why bash it. I think watching this film will be very inlighting to many people. After all no can say for sure that there is no God…

  67. #68 Steve_C
    June 24, 2008

    hehe…

    ummm yeah thanks for that comment…

    3 months later.

    run along now.

  68. #69 Brownian, OM
    June 24, 2008

    Seems you and I share the same patrol, Steve ;-)

  69. #70 Sven DiMilo
    June 24, 2008

    Some people would just rather be deffensive than inlighted, I guess.
    *shrug*

  70. #71 SC
    June 24, 2008

    Team 1 on the scene
    situation under control
    returning to base

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