Pharyngula

Point and laugh

Sometimes, people wonder if criticizing creationists brings more attention to them than they deserve — it’s a weird dynamic on the web, where we measure popularity by traffic (unfortunately), so referencing the bad guys sends them traffic, which seems to increase their apparent popularity. There’s no way around it, because that’s the way it works.

So we’ve always got people urging stasis — don’t raise a ruckus, keep mum, hush, don’t draw more attention to the crappy, crazy creationists — and they mean well, but they’re wrong. I say we need to be loud and tell everyone about them. We need to point and laugh. Really, it works. It does bring more attention to them, and I think there is a certain movie that will have more viewers than it would otherwise, but it’s all people seeing people point and laugh and going into it with a more skeptical, critical attitude, and that’s a win for us. They get to take home a little more money, but we have more people willing to point and laugh, and that’s the currency I’m gambling for.

One of the rascals at AtBC (not the one who is a witch) dug up an interesting Alexa comparison of traffic to my site (actually, the whole of scienceblogs, but I own an embarrassingly large percentage of that — please do go to the entry page and say hello to some other worthy blogs, won’t you?) and to that movie site. Guess which one is the gently rolling prairie beneath the craggy mountain peaks?

At a recent phone conference, the possessors of the tiny little red line claimed to have achieved massive popularity on the web last week, and even said they had the #1 spot for popularity at that time…but I think you can tell who was actually winning that little competition for eyeballs, and who was fibbing again.

You can go ahead and tell me to shut up, but you better be careful — I might point and laugh instead.


By the way, I mentioned that a bunch of reporters had contacted me about the recent chaos at the conference call — almost all of them are from very small outfits, mostly religious newspapers and sites. I suspect that the big newspapers have given up on Expelled as fluff and noise, and no longer newsworthy. We’re getting our cake and eating it, too! It’s also amusing that the producers are still trying to buy an audience.

Comments

  1. #1 KevPod
    March 29, 2008

    Further, much of the godly site traffic is non-believers just looking in out of morbid curiosity.

  2. #2 Flaky Steve
    March 29, 2008

    Well we all need a hero
    Of mythical size
    To explain what we can’t understand

  3. #3 craig
    March 29, 2008

    That one thing is what I see as the major success of this – the small papers and religious papers are now seeking an outside opinion or interview or what have you… they wouldn’t have otherwise.
    And while some may use the opportunity as simply a way of finding a villain, others I’m sure will not.

    Which means that while Expelled is finding new exposure amongst atheists and/or the science-minded, it won’t win any atheists or science-minded people over to accepting the message of the movie.

    But the message that the movie is full of lies has found an audience of some who would otherwise have accepted it, and some of those people may find a new skepticism.

  4. #4 Zeno
    March 29, 2008

    With an aggregate $5000 in prize money for trying to pack theaters with audiences for Expelled, the promoters sure are doing it on the cheap. It would probably be just as effective if they prayed for an audience.

  5. #5 Ted D
    March 29, 2008

    I’m getting this warm fuzzy feeling inside…

  6. #6 Rey Fox
    March 29, 2008

    Someone ought to tell these creationists that all that complaining about Darwinists is just giving them free publicity.

  7. #7 JStein
    March 29, 2008

    PZ, it’s not like this is the first time they’ve made stuff up to prove a ridiculous point.

  8. #8 MAJeff, OM
    March 29, 2008

    A parallel from another field: Holocaust denial.

    Deborah Lipstadt, in particular, has taken the position that deniers are not to be ignored, but confronted. While I still find some of her views about intermarriage ridiculous because of the woo-factor of religious rules, I find her position on denial to be on the mark. You don’t leave them to have a say in public all by themselves. If you do so, they’re the only voice in the public sphere. You challenge them to put up or shut up.

    Ask David Irving about the results.

  9. #9 Tessa
    March 29, 2008

    This movie sure isn’t going to enhance Stein’s popularity. I wonder if he wishes he had never agreed to it now. He certainly has become the laughingstock of the creationists.

  10. #10 RamblinDude
    March 29, 2008

    It would be disengenuous of us if we didn’t point and laugh. I mean, they keep shooting themselves in the foot so much, it’s like they have big floppy clown feet on. hehe

    Bozos.

    LOL!

  11. #11 Richard, FCD
    March 29, 2008

    While I’m sure Pharyngula gets more traffic, Alexa is a pretty useless measure as it relies on the Alexa tool being installed and that audience typically is a very tech-centric crowd.

  12. #12 Blaidd Drwg
    March 29, 2008

    Flaky Steve, If you need a hero, check this link out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xxygjJn8qs

  13. #13 MAJeff, OM
    March 29, 2008

    Posted by: Blaidd Drwg | March 29, 2008 9:18 PM

    *swoon* I ? Bonnie Tyler

  14. #14 Bubba Sixpack
    March 29, 2008

    Like Ben Stein, the Expelled movie is turning out to be a sleep-fest. Ho Hum.

  15. #15 Martin
    March 29, 2008

    Um, I’m sure most of us have figured out that anyone who wants to check out Expectorant but doesn’t want to give Mark Mathis money can just buy a ticket for another feature showing in the same multiplex, right?

    Not that I’m suggesting such a heinous, immoral act! I wouldn’t want you to think I was some kind of wicked Darwinist Nazi.

  16. #16 Matt
    March 29, 2008

    Hardly surprising that little fuss has been made of it outside of the atheist and ID communities. The major newspapers aren’t interested in a few fundamentalist whackos trying to get their lies into a few private cinemas. If it got a major release, and was sold internationally too, then maybe they’d have something to write about.

  17. #17 jdb
    March 29, 2008

    I aslo wouldn’t underestimate the role of fear of ridicule in motivating otherwise indifferent, “moderate” folks to stand up to the creationists who want to take over their school boards and ruin science education. A lot of those people didn’t relish the idea of the rest of the world laughing at the backwardness of Kansas, or Dover, PA, etc.

  18. #18 Mena
    March 29, 2008

    One problem with this. They are going to start whining about being laughed at not for saying stupid things but for being christians. This may get them sympathy from more moderate people who don’t have much of a science background. Sadly though, it’s hard not to laugh at these guys!

  19. #19 Rienk
    March 29, 2008

    Always use rel="nofollow" in all links so at least Google does not pick up on the referral…

  20. #20 Quidam
    March 29, 2008

    Please watch my movie
    Anyone? … Anyone? … Anyone? …

    http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/6636/pleasewatchmymovieks0.jpg

  21. #21 Kristine
    March 29, 2008

    One of the rascals at AtBC (not the one who is a witch) dug up an interesting Alexa comparison of traffic to my site

    It was the warlock who is a Rich! ;-)

  22. #22 kcanadensis
    March 29, 2008

    Thanks for the evening laugh, PZ. This whole thing is just so much fun to follow that I can’t wait to see what happens next, and I’m sure others echo my sentiments on that.

  23. #23 Moses
    March 29, 2008

    They are going to start whining about being laughed at not for saying stupid things but for being christians. This may get them sympathy from more moderate people who don’t have much of a science background. Sadly though, it’s hard not to laugh at these guys!

    Posted by: Mena | March 29, 2008 9:46 PM

    If you get drunk and put a lamp shade on your head, I’m going to laugh at you because it’s a CHOICE. And laughing at people for their choices is fair.

  24. #24 BadMA
    March 29, 2008

    I don’t generally go to creationist websites (I can’t take the stupid!), but if our traffic adds that much to their total, it can’t be that bad. After all, if a good percentage of their traffic is people laughing at them, then their websites are largely entertainment (in a painful sort of way) for us.

  25. #25 Phil Plait
    March 29, 2008

    I compared Expelled to my site, and I tend to dominate them too. Interesting.

    What’s also interesting is that Alexa has rankings for expelledthemovie.com going back to July 2007. Heh heh heh.

  26. #26 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    Very nice.

  27. #27 Tony Popple
    March 29, 2008

    When it comes to anti-evolutionist, I have always believed that part of the problem is that it is a back-burner issue.

    For the longest time, creationism went publicly unchallenged. The general public was largely apathetic, and the scientific community was too dismissive to deal with the problem. I think creationist arguments are like urban legends, they can be fatally flawed but continue survive because there is no common knowledge keeping them in check.

    Given the history of the anti-evolution crowd, I am inclined to believe that a lack of attention is what keeps their movement alive. When they lost their court battles in the 1980s, they adopted more subtle, back-door tactics. They dropped the national movement and turned their efforts toward influencing school boards and text-book manufacturers.

    I think putting as big a spot light on their activities is a good idea. I would rather give them their fifteen minutes of fame and force them to engage in a very public debate, instead of having them disappear from view and allow them to “re-invent” themselves.

  28. #28 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2008

    EEEEEK! An astronomer. Kill it!

    What’s also interesting is that Alexa has rankings for expelledthemovie.com going back to July 2007. Heh heh heh.

    hahahaha. What traffic is Crossroads the movie getting in compa…oh nevermind.

  29. #29 Bubba Sixpack
    March 29, 2008

    Martin:
    “Um, I’m sure most of us have figured out that anyone who wants to check out Expectorant but doesn’t want to give Mark Mathis money can just buy a ticket for another feature showing in the same multiplex, right?”

    Only if someone offers to wake me up, and can assure me that I can get back into the normal movie.

  30. #30 bpabbott@mac.com
    March 29, 2008

    The sword has two edges. Either swing the sword at the devil, or he will frame those who are silent as supporting him :-(

    I’m with PZ. If you find someone’s position ridiculous, say so.

    The greatest atrocities of history did not occur because of a surge in critique … and a good case can be made that such atrocities could have been avoided, or reduced, had the objectors not have been silent.

  31. #31 Odonata
    March 29, 2008

    Robert Cialdini gave an American Psychological Society lecture a number of years ago entitled “The Poison Parasite Defense: A New Way to Sap a Competitor’s Persuasive Strength.” He talked about some research on counter ads which I thought was interesting.

    “Cialdini found that successful counter ads involve the use of effective counter-arguments that call into question the opponent’s facts and trustworthiness; mnemonic links to the opponent’s ads, a parasitic device which essentially infects the opponent’s message by linking its memory and impact to the counter ad; and ridicule to satirize the opponent’s ads.” http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/1001/cialdini.html

  32. #32 Physicalist
    March 29, 2008

    Speaking of pointing and laughing, it would be good to have some funny one-frame comics tastefully mocking Expelled. I love the “Darwin mit uns” photoshop, but it’s not quite right for posting on one’s office door.

  33. #33 Robert Thille
    March 29, 2008

    Here’s an interesting ‘google trends’ search
    http://tinyurl.com/392yqm

  34. #34 Rich
    March 29, 2008

    FOR TEH LOVE OF SQUID CAN I PLEASE GET A FRIGGIN MOLLY NOW? THAT WITCH KRISTINE HAS ONE BUT I BET ITS BECAUSE SHE SNOGGED RICHARD DAWKINS ON SOME CRUISE OF SOMETHING AND ITS NOT FAIR BECAUSE I’VE GOT A GOLD STAR FROM PZ BUT NO-ONE RECOGNIZES THAT IN TEH BLOGOSPHERE AND I’M AT A BAD POINT IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW AND A MOLLY WOULD REALLY HELP BECAUSE I’LL I HAVE IS ME AND THIS HORRIBLE RUN-ON SENTENCE….

    *begins quiet weeping*

  35. #35 Wazza
    March 29, 2008

    The problem is, if you’re debating with a creationist and you give in to the natural urge to collapse on the floor in a shuddering heap of hilarity, the public assumes the creationist has won because he’s the one making the points which make oh so much sense…

    we need to maintain a balance between ridiculing through laughing and ridiculing through making their ideas look silly.

  36. #36 Dr X
    March 29, 2008

    Are they using Ben Stein’s money? $5,000 was the Grand Prize on Win Ben Stein’s Money.

  37. #37 Hank Fox
    March 29, 2008

    I’m behind “point and laugh” 100 percent!

    I’ve always believed laughter is one of the most powerful weapons of reasonable people (at least, after I got over the years of constant blind rage, anyway) against unreasonable ones.

    Laugh at those bastards! The only power they have is the power that we all give them. And we can take it back with laughter.

  38. #38 John Morales
    March 29, 2008

    Robert #33: I looked, but when selecting Jan, Feb or March of 08 the result is:

    Your terms – expelled movie, pz myers, pharyngula – do not have enough search volume to show graphs.

    Whatever it shows, it’s not relevant to the current fiasco.

  39. #39 ScottH
    March 29, 2008

    Tony Popple makes an important point (#27 above) – ignoring creationism is a strategy that has been tried and has failed badly. It’s one thing to just dismiss crackpot ideas, but this is a well-funded and highly-motivated political movement. You can’t so easily afford to turn your back on those. Less-organized crackpottery, like most New Age woo, doesn’t work its way into schools very often, but creationism needs to be resisted daily.

  40. #40 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    March 29, 2008

    Now, you know that Matthew was in Wisconsin and everyone told him that this is really a tempest in a teapot. Only the blogosphere (and NY Times and City Pages readers are aware of this fallout from you being non-admitted.) The larger world of evangelists who need science isn’t aware of this, and he really thinks that as long as we can pull them along on saving the environment then the whole ID-evolution thang is irrelevant.

    Stop trumpeting the traffic thing. He’s on a mission with God.

  41. #41 Master Mahan
    March 29, 2008

    I agree completely. The goal is to make that people don’t buy into this nonsense, and full information serves as an inoculation. We don’t need anything that smacks of knowledge suppression – education only helps us.

  42. #42 Crudely Wrott
    March 30, 2008

    Re the Alexa graphic: Yet another reason why a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Ridicule, like its big brother Shunning, is a most powerful weapon to counter foolishness, crudity and antagonism. I’ve found that it has quite a bit of stopping power. Granted the mocker risks enraging the mockee but this usually happens in cases involving individuals. This case is much larger. The unpredictable reactions of individuals and small groups are subsumed to some extent in groups as large as the two involved in this dust up.

    And you know, there are chuckles enough for all to enjoy despite the serious nature of what is afoot in all of this. The stakes are, quite simply, the future of civilization. That’s no joke, even though Stein et al and the whole premise of their movie is.

    So, to the entire production team of Expelled, their backers, bank rollers and supporters, “Hahahaha! Just look at you oo ooo ooooo! Ha ha hee hee, on my!

  43. #43 Glen Davidson
    March 30, 2008

    I suspect that the big newspapers have given up on Expelled as fluff and noise, and no longer newsworthy.

    That’s exactly what exposing the nonsense early on should do. Oh, some of them will still go when Expelled is opened up to the press in April before the release date (if they do so, knowing how the movie’s badness is already well recognized).

    But the ones who care to be thorough will already know what to expect, thanks to the reviews given. And rather than fall for their propaganda, they’ll be seeing it for what it is, a non-slick shrill bunch of lies, incongruously told in Stein’s monotone voice.

    I suspect that many will be taking guidance from Dawkins’ review, as well. They know that Dawkins is not a person to disagree with lightly, so they won’t.

    The big media won’t totally ignore the movie up till April 18, then, rather they’re likely to put out short blurbs about how it’s hardly worth anyone’s time to sit through such tabloid trash (well below Enquirer’s standards, and I’m very serious in saying so). Anything about the details is likely to be scathing.

    It’s all very well that the movie isn’t being discussed much in the major media at this point, certainly, and the negativity in the small media and blogs is likewise healthy for science. Slanderous anti-science junk doesn’t deserve serious treatment in the mainstream, yet it must be countered (and we’d do well to take the offense (I mean with educational media, primarily), if we ever would) in the media which do report on such nonsense.

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

  44. #44 James McGrath
    March 30, 2008

    Speaking of pointing and laughing, another video game was long overdue. I hope you enjoy this one as much as the last (especially since you star in it, PZ), although I wish I had had the time to make it more elaborate.

    http://exploringourmatrix.blogspot.com/2008/03/expelled-video-game.html

    It was created with MIT’s Scratch program, like the last one, so anyone with more time and the desire to improve it can do so. If anyone does, please let me know!

  45. #45 Glen Davidson
    March 30, 2008

    Expelled likely will change virtually no minds, since it has been aggressively exposed. Lies don’t do well under exposure, something that PZ would do well to bring up every time his expulsions are raised–they hide under a fundie rock for very good reason.

    Eventually it will be watched mostly by two groups, die-hard fundies, and pro-science folk getting stoned and laughing themselves silly over such bizarre accusations. There may be a small third group, however, those who wish to educate the public by the absurd lengths that creationists/IDists will go to try to discredit real science and real scientists.

    In the end, the DI will disavow it, not only because it’s stupid and boring, but also because it flagrantly contradicts their constant lies that ID is not religion. They’ll try to get some donations first, though, especially since it is the “poor little David” exhibited in the film. Nevertheless, I suspect that it will be a real embarrassment to ID after all is said and done.

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

  46. #46 Chris Noble
    March 30, 2008

    I aslo wouldn’t underestimate the role of fear of ridicule in motivating otherwise indifferent, “moderate” folks to stand up to the creationists who want to take over their school boards and ruin science education. A lot of those people didn’t relish the idea of the rest of the world laughing at the backwardness of Kansas, or Dover, PA, etc.

    From my vantage point I’m laughing at the whole of the US not just a few backward states.

    PS. Please do not return Ken Ham!

  47. #47 Niobe
    March 30, 2008

    With Eugenie’s appeal on the latest SGU podcast to promote http://expelledexposed.com, I wonder how quick that link will actually overtake the movie website.

  48. #48 Niobe
    March 30, 2008

    Whoops typo that would be
    http://www.expelledexposed.com

  49. #49 Niobe
    March 30, 2008

    Or vote for it on digg:
    http://digg.com/movies/Expelled_Exposed

    Apologies for the triple post I just woke up.

  50. #50 Peter Ashby
    March 30, 2008

    Wasn’t it in Florida last year where they were thinking of some wording to introduce ID into science and they got a heap of emails from pastafarians thanking them for allowing the teaching about the FSM touching the world with his noodly appendage? That bit of ridicule certainly seemed to work.

  51. #51 joe
    March 30, 2008

    If you do not call bull pucky, you encourage them. Hit them on every point. Do not back down. This is why we have these freaking nitwits. 2000 years ago, someone did not say what a crock of crap.

  52. #52 Rob
    March 30, 2008
  53. #53 wazza
    March 30, 2008

    Ah, but if you look below that at the comparisons in different countries…

    PZ beats expelled in canada, and expelled doesn’t even get a look in in the UK

  54. #54 Physis
    March 30, 2008

    But Google Trends is entirely context-free; people searching for Expelled could well be looking for Myers’ post, or have done so after reading his post to laugh at it.

  55. #55 MH
    March 30, 2008

    The KKK might still be a force to be reckoned with if it wasn’t for Stetson Kennedy (and the Makers of Superman radio program) ridiculing it. I wonder if we can get Matt Groening to do a few episodes of The Simpsons where Homer trounces the creationists? That’s a serious question! Getting the attention of Groening could be tricky though, but maybe PZ could contact Dawkins, who could contact Ricky Gervais (comedian, atheist, anti-creationist, and science-lover), who could contact Matt? Gervais is also pals with Jon Stewart. He could be a real asset to the cause of stemming the idiocy that is IDC.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, this clip from Ricky’s Animals tour is classic.

  56. #56 Wazza
    March 30, 2008

    MH, what need is there to go any further than Ricky Gervais? Yes, he has friends with big audiences, but he has a pretty big one too. All we need is to give Carl Pilkington a copy of one of the more accessible ID tomes, then record a new season of the podcast once he’s had time to read it.

  57. #58 factician
    March 30, 2008

    You can go ahead and tell me to shut up,

    Shut up, PZ.

  58. #59 MH
    March 30, 2008

    @Wazza (#56)

    LOL, you’re right.

  59. #60 Marcus Ranum
    March 30, 2008

    a few episodes of The Simpsons where Homer trounces the creationists?

    It’d be funnier if Homer joined the creationists. That way he could spout a bunch of their silly B.S. and everyone watching would be going, “wow that’s weapons-grade stupid!”

  60. #61 daenku32@yahoo.com
    March 30, 2008

    My Physics lab partner is a creationist. Just found out Thursday after class, in which the teacher had quickly mentioned Big Bang. It was late, and I was in a hurry to get home.

    Not sure how to approach it. I’m older than him and he knows I’ve done well in math and science classes, so I’ve got that when talking to him. He appears a nice guy, who probably just got a very creationist upbringing. I’m thinking about just telling him to read the last couple chapters of our physics book where it talks about the expansion of the universe. And just to get him to accept science that is in the threshold of our imagination, talk about the current chapter about gravitation, which quickly mentions the infinite density in the singularity of a black hole.

    In fact, I think our physics (and chemistry) books are a pretty good start.

  61. #62 LM Wanderer
    March 30, 2008
  62. #63 J
    March 30, 2008

    Family Guy has weighed in too.

  63. #64 Physicalist
    March 30, 2008

    If you’re going to look at google trends, I’d suggest including the search term “PZ” (for which Myers is the top google hit). He’s got both “Expelled” and “Ben Stein” whooped.

    But as PZ points out, we can’t put much stock in any of this (even if we try to add up different terms, or web site hits), without knowing why people are visiting the sites. After all, many of us go to the Expelled site to point and laugh, to sign up for free viewings that they’d like to boot us out of, etc.

    To judge from the relative numbers of supporters and detractors at the comments section of the Expelled blog, I’d say that the vast majority of hits they have are from people pointing and laughing.

  64. #65 Ron
    March 30, 2008

    I appreciate the post – whether this fiasco generates positive interest in the film was something I felt apprehension about. I figure – for every million gits who watched the Tom Cruise interview, a few of them would take some positive impression about Scientology away. Surely that number is negotiable when compared with the people who pointed and laughed, though. Would that the Expelled morons scramble as hard to have the offending video buried before it continued to hurt their cause (on second thought – keep that embarrassing mess in the spotlight!).
    Also – please follow up on these small press interviews with Xtian media, ones where you feel a contrary point of view is getting a little air. I am hopeful that they serve to give you a chance to show you aren’t just some pranky jackass that jumps out of their cakes (the impression they would be happiest to give people ‘here he is illustrating his tactics again, huh huh huh – now back to the science of the sky-faerie’.
    You are doing important work, PZ – I hope that any stresses brought on by the ordeal are easy to keep in positive perspective.

  65. #66 W. H. Heydt
    March 30, 2008

    Is it worth pointing out that the current, proposed release date of _Expelled_ (Apr. 18) is the anniversay of the “Great San Francisco Earthquake” of 1906?

  66. #67 MH
    March 30, 2008

    LM Wanderer wrote: “The Simpsons have already weighed in”

    J wrote: “Family Guy has weighed in too.”

    Note to self: watch more cartoons.

  67. #68 Brian Macker
    March 30, 2008

    Not sure how to read that graph. What that hell do they mean “per million”? Can’t mean “in millions” since I doubt this blog pulled 200 million readers. Certainly 200 seems low if this site is popular. Per million what?

  68. #69 SamDyuaa
    March 30, 2008

    Now brainstorming satire of “Teach the Controversy.”

    Beach the Controversy.
    Bleach the Controversy
    Teach the Contraception
    Leech a Counterproductive . . . no, double-negative.
    On this side of the controversy: observable reality, empirical inquiry, and falsifiable tests. In the other corner, a beached whale.
    A beached leech?

  69. #70 SocraticGadfly
    March 30, 2008

    PZ, after I blogged about the NYT story about your expulsion, I found Expelled’s website. It had a preview screening, in my neck of the woods, down here in Fort Worth last October, and I heard not a word about it at that time.

  70. #71 Steve_C
    March 30, 2008

    And?

  71. #72 Ichthyic
    March 30, 2008

    The greatest atrocities of history did not occur because of a surge in critique … and a good case can be made that such atrocities could have been avoided, or reduced, had the objectors not have been silent.

    perfectly said.

  72. #73 MrTwiddle
    March 30, 2008

    “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintellible propostitions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them.” – Thomas Jefferson

  73. #74 CleveDan
    March 30, 2008

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Kptr9frdlNs

    I added that Alexa pic to the end of my movie regarding PZ’s call to the Expelled conf. call

  74. #75 Mike
    March 30, 2008

    The more scrutiny of their “logic” and defense, the more obvious their lack of logic will be.

  75. #76 Ichthyic
    March 30, 2008

    I added that Alexa pic to the end of my movie regarding PZ’s call to the Expelled conf. call

    fail.

    yes.

    I can’t believe how these guys like to redefine words.

    word of the week:

    “invited”

    as in

    “PZ was not INVITED to this OPEN conference call”

    “PZ was not INVITED to an OPEN preview of the movie that features him”

    damn irritating how these morons continue to demolish the english language.

  76. #77 Farb
    March 31, 2008

    I think phrases like “fibbers,” “liars (for Jesus),” “quote-miners” and the like have begun to reap diminishing returns among the wannabe-theocrats and snake-oil hucksters who provide us so much grim amusement.

    They’ve developed Teflon shells, and like all the other Teflon moralists over the years, aren’t discomfited in the least by the pejorative terminology currently in use to describe their pious redefinitions of factual evidence.

    So, I propose a “new” term, one to take advantage of that other front in the culture wars, the imposition of big monuments to the Ten Commandments in public places. Specifically, the 8th (or 9th) Commandment:

    “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

    Of course the Morality Police want monuments to the Ten Commandments placed in public locations. Thanks in part to them and their hypocrisy, the Ten Commandments are dead, dead as a doornail. They’ve helped to bury them. Now they have tombstones!

    The producers of EXPELLED, in the fine tradition of conservative hypocrisy, are doing their yeoman part to keep them well-buried, even as they trumpet their sky fairy as the implied source of all that is, the way they say it is.

    (As long as you buy their book, or pay to see their movie, or tithe to pay for their expensive house on Snob Hill, or pony up to help buy them a new Mercedes, all for the greater glory of God and His Church, who, along with those bilked out of billions, will never see a single penny’s benefit from all this ill-gotten gain.)

    Never mind that the same sky fairy had things to say, things which frequently took its staunchest believers to task for the way they treated each other, or eventually, the way they treated others not of their persuasion.

    So, I suggest the following epithet to be applied in the future to them, whenever they redefine truth on one of their self-serving rampages:

    “False Witnesses.”

    It should provide an appropriate reminder to these creeps about where they really stand. I plan to start using it right away.

  77. #78 Paul
    March 31, 2008

    I’m fairly certain what they are doing is illegal. I just took a quick look, but any company that offers a prize, has to offer a way of entering the offer without buying anything. I’ll check into this to see and if I am correct, I’ll find out who I can file a complaint with.

  78. #79 LP
    March 31, 2008

    I didn’t have time to check this entry out to its full extent but if you are talking about the piece on ABCNews.com about Ben Stein’s little ditty Expelled with reference to your name/site/phone number(just kidding about the phone number).

  79. #80 LP
    March 31, 2008

    I didn’t have time to check this entry out to its full extent but if you are talking about the piece on ABCNews.com about Ben Stein’s little ditty Expelled with reference to your name/site/phone number(just kidding about the phone number) yeah saw that one.

  80. #81 tsg
    March 31, 2008

    Ridicule is not an inappropriate response to the ridiculous.

  81. #82 ZQ-J
    April 1, 2008

    It is kind of odd though, PZ.
    Why are you making such a big deal about them? You know this, you’ve said it yourself enough times. I’m hearing more people talking about the movie now, after what you did, then prior to it.

    Does everyone have their price?
    I think you’re all benefiting from this, PZ. And how were you just randomly plucked from the line? I could show your picture to alot of folk and I don’t think any of them would know who you are. However, somehow, you get pulled from the line? That’s convenient.

    When it looks like a work, feels like a work, and smells like a work…. it’s probably a work.

  82. #83 ZQ-J
    April 1, 2008

    “We need to point and laugh. Really, it works. It does bring more attention to them, and I think there is a certain movie that will have more viewers than it would otherwise, but it’s all people seeing people point and laugh and going into it with a more skeptical, critical attitude, and that’s a win for us. They get to take home a little more money, but we have more people willing to point and laugh, and that’s the currency I’m gambling for.”

    I don’t buy this reasoning for one bit.
    You think the average american is going to think this film is unreasonable? They’re more than likely going to be impressed by the name attached to it and the high gloss production… that will be enough for them to be convinced.
    These are people that probably never would have heard of this film.
    We are a small contingency and you know this. It’s not US that you are turning on to this movie so that we can mock it. Because WE already know about it. This is worse than preaching to the choir because the net effect is going to be more brainless americans watching this fluff, thinking there’s an issue, and then thinking there’s a big atheist conspiracy out there.

    You’re going to tell me that you don’t think this is what will ultimately happen?
    Don’t play us…. well at least ME for a fool.

  83. #84 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 1, 2008

    I think you’re all benefiting from this, PZ. And how were you just randomly plucked from the line? I could show your picture to alot of folk and I don’t think any of them would know who you are. However, somehow, you get pulled from the line? That’s convenient.

    The white zone is for loading and unloading

    Please step to the right to receive your Tin Foil hat.

  84. #85 ZQ-J
    April 2, 2008

    “Please step to the right to receive your Tin Foil hat.”

    Be a fool.
    Be the type that refuses to think this through yourself.

    Are you going to honestly tell me that what PZ did is going to have the effect he claims?! Do you truly think that more won’t see this and think, “hmmm, that’s reasonable.”?

    More people are talking about this film, not less.

  85. #86 MartinM
    April 2, 2008

    And how were you just randomly plucked from the line? I could show your picture to alot of folk and I don’t think any of them would know who you are.

    Yes, but I’ll take a wild guess and say that many of those folk won’t have produced a movie PZ is in.

  86. #87 DanioPhD
    April 2, 2008

    And how were you just randomly plucked from the line? I could show your picture to alot of folk and I don’t think any of them would know who you are.

    Yes, but I’ll take a wild guess and say that many of those folk won’t have produced a movie PZ is in.

    Nor would these random, non-movie producing folks have seen a list of registrants for the screening in Minneapolis MN on which the name “Paul Myers” appeared.

  87. #88 MartinM
    April 2, 2008

    Or have spoken to him, for that matter.

    I think I’m beginning to detect a slight flaw in ZQ-J’s reasoning.

  88. #89 ZQ-J
    April 3, 2008

    Wake up, guys. And they’re going to skim right over Dawkins?
    Slight flaw in my reasoning, hmmm, you think they wouldn’t have noticed Dawkins either?

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