Pharyngula

SciAm on Expelled

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First Fox News, now Scientific American gives Expelled both barrels. They dedicated a fair amount of space to ripping into the movie, and you might be wondering if it isn’t giving the movie more publicity than it deserves, a question I’m getting asked a lot, too. Of course it is! The controversy is exactly what they want, since it will help put butts in seats. However, this is bad publicity, and what serves our ends is that people see the movie skeptically, and are made aware of the fundamental dishonesty of the makers. John Rennie notes this problem:

Rather, it seems a safe bet that the producers hope a whipping from us would be useful for publicity: further proof that any mention of ID outrages the close-minded establishment. (Picture Ben Stein as Jack Nicholson, shouting, “You can’t handle the truth!”) Knowing this, we could simply ignore the movie–which might also suit their purposes, come to think of it.

Unfortunately, Expelled is a movie not quite harmless enough to be ignored. Shrugging off most of the film’s attacks–all recycled from previous pro-ID works–would be easy, but its heavy-handed linkage of modern biology to the Holocaust demands a response for the sake of simple human decency.

I agree — this is a movie that goes beyond stupidity to actual malice, and it shouldn’t be ignored. SciAm does a great job in exposing the intellectual poverty behind this propaganda film.

Also, remember how Mark Mathis was mentioning that they allowed Michael Shermer to see the movie, as if he were expecting a thumbs-up from Shermer? His review is also online, and as I expected, it is not kind.

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 10, 2008

    1. Hitler was a Christian. All his life. He died as a Catholic Christian, in good standing with ‘the Church’.

    Nah. He believed in several (sometimes contradictory) things that are not too easily compatible with Catholic dogma. For example, he insisted that Jesus was not a Jew, and interpreted the fight with the moneychangers as a fight against the Jews. It is also well-known that he didn’t like organized religion, if only because he wasn’t the organizer — he wanted to “get even” with the churches after the Final Victory?.

    And, of course, Himmler and the SS were occultists who tried to believe into the Germanic pantheon. The Waffen-SS regularly defaced Christian cemeteries where it marched through.

    2. Germany was, and stil is, a Christian country. As a matter of fact, if you live in Germany, you have to request in writing IF you do NOT wish to have 10% of your salary to be automatically deducted and sent to the Vatican. Yes, some of my German friends did not know this – but have rectified this since. Austria, Hitler’s homeland, is also a Christian country. Very, very Christian.

    If you mean in the 1930s and before, you’re right. If you mean today, you exaggerate pretty drastically. Austria is more religious than France, yes, but considerably less than Spain or Italy, let alone Poland or Ireland. PZ mentioned today that graduation ceremonies in public schools in the US regularly include prayer and the presence of a priest/preacher — in Austria this is unthinkable.

    Not really. After the war, Xians forged a lot of personal documents to make Hitler look like less of a Xian. A coverup.

    Please elaborate.

    The high and lower races defined by Darwin did influence Hilter’s thinking on one race being better or higher than another race.

    You act as if Darwin had invented racism. You cannot possibly be so ignorant as to actually believe that. It logically follows that you are lying — probably to yourself first and foremost.

    (Darwin, incidentally, was much less of a racist than most of his contemporaries.)

    The text book used in favor of evolution at the Scopes trial and later in public schools, taught kids their were five races, and the white race was the “highest” race.

    That’s history.

    In creationism, there is no such distinction, we all have the same color of skin, the shades of the color vary but no race is “higher” or better than another.

    This depends on the kind of creationism you’re looking at! What exactly are the Mark of Cain and the Curse of Ham? Both have been claimed to be dark skin…

    Also, Darwin himself wrote “say never higher or lower” into the margins of a book while he was working on The Origin of Species. Turns out he was right: there is no way to measure “height”, and the theory of evolution doesn’t predict that any such phenomenon should exist.

    Also, the Argument from Consequences is a logical fallacy in the first place: “If X were true, that would mean Y. Y is horrible. I don’t want horrible things. Therefore X must not be true.”

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 10, 2008

    Please elaborate

    Oops, sorry, forgot to delete that after I read comment 56.