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 Glen Davidson
    April 9, 2008

    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.

    Exactly. They need gullible people to swallow their lies, and they’re running into an ever-shrinking potential audience of the gullible.

    Whether or not this particular movie nets them profit or not is hardly the issue. Whether or not it helps or hurts anti-evolutionism in the long run is the issue.

    And it is increasingly likely that this will hurt anti-evolutionists in the long run, since it is such a cheap attack on science, misuse of the Holocaust to spread ignorance, and a generally crappy movie.

    All of those involved in the movie had better be thinking about either repudiating this heap of garbage quickly, or having it drag on their careers for the foreseeable future.

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

  2. #2 wazza
    April 9, 2008

    What careers, Glen?

    I thought Ben Stein was a d-list game show host?

    Definitely not on a level with Jack Nicholson.

  3. #3 CGDH
    April 9, 2008

    I’m wondering if any Boston-area readers have heard of a lecture taking place at the Harvard Science Center on Friday. It’s titled “God and Science,” and as far as I can tell, it’s being sponsored by the Boston Church of Christ.
    http://www.bostoncoc.org/index.php?option=com_thyme&calendar=1&category=0&d=6&m=4&y=2008&vcat=&Itemid=43&event=67&instance=2008-4-11

    Both speakers are Harvard/MIT PhDs who are leaders in the church, and the kid who gave me the flyer said they’d be speaking chiefly on intelligent design.

    It appears to be open to the public, so feel free to stop by.

    More info:
    http://vastpublicindifference.blogspot.com/

  4. #4 freelunch
    April 9, 2008

    What careers? The careers in the reality denying industry. There’s big money coming up with completely nonsensical claims that will be paid for by Big Business or Big Religion. The Discovery Institute is the nexus of the two.

  5. #5 Glen Davidson
    April 9, 2008

    What careers, Glen?

    I thought Ben Stein was a d-list game show host?

    Clear Eyes, the voice of the pixies on Fairly Odd Parents, and rambling on about nothing in American Spectator, is not much of a career, granted. But Stein could lose any of those bits of his life, save the rambling in American Spectator, if he becomes America’s prime example of how whacked out one can become without (recent) drug use.

    Kevin Miller and Mark Mathis probably need the work, and could lose opportunities to work even for the Xian apologists, if this movie gives evangelical and fundamentalist religion the black eye. OTOH, Ruloff apparently doesn’t need the money, and probably feels like a holy martyr for being disliked by those more knowledgeable than himself.

    But sure, I don’t think that America will miss any of them if they become poison to all future projects.

    I wonder, though, if Stein was hoping to become more than the pathetic Hollywood hanger-on that he was, with this film. Well, he has become more in some ways, much less in other ways.

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

  6. #6 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    Clear Eyes, the voice of the pixies on Fairly Odd Parents, and rambling on about nothing in American Spectator, is not much of a career, granted.

    Don’t forget his speechwriting efforts on behalf of the Nixon Administration.

    talk about bad habits being hard to break.

  7. #7 Holbach
    April 9, 2008

    I get Scientific American and it was a thrill to read the
    article blasting that crap movie. I wish SA would go more
    into bashing other realms of nonsense, but this would be more than we could wish for! Hey, there’s still time as we are going to need all the ammunition we can muster!

  8. #8 Darby
    April 9, 2008

    One encouraging detail is how often the reviews stress how badly-made and boring the film is – those kinds of reviews don’t usually put butts in the seats.

  9. #9 Sonja
    April 9, 2008

    I’ve been listening to all these podcasts from the SciAm site in the last hour and they are terrific!

    I am currently enjoying listening to the liar/IDiot Mathis’s scrambled defense of his film, in his own words.

  10. #10 Xanthippa
    April 9, 2008

    It’s the Hollocaust link that is the part which needs to be addressed:

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

    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.

    3. The Hollocaust was perpetuated by Christians. In a Christian country, with a Christian leader. Its primary victims were the Gypsies. Its secondary victims were the Jews. (Yes, the Gypsies were more despised by Hitler’s Nazis than the Jews were – there just weren’t nearly as many, and their extermination was more ‘complete’.) Yet, there wre other victims – anyone who transgresses, or was seen to transgress, or ‘needed punishing’ – as an example, to keep the populace cowed (whole villages were sent to ‘camps’ like this).

    Perhaps the Nazis did not behave in accordance with their Christian principals – I would not know. I am not a Christian myself, so it is difficult for me to even guess.

    This fact needs to be repeated over and over, because I heard SO MANY Christians deny this – sometimes our of complete ignorance of the facts, sometimes because they refuse to accept the facts. They usually say ‘He was too evil to be one of US, he must be one of YOU, you atheists! Plus, my preacher said Hitler was an atheist!’…or something along those lines.

    More and more people claim Hitler was an Atheist….and NOTHING could be further from the truth! Hitler was a Christian!

  11. #11 Mike
    April 9, 2008

    Did I read that correctly, that Fox News is panning this “film?” I would have guessed that Rupert Murdoch was one of the major investors. This might be one of the first bits of objective journalism they have ever stumbled onto. Let us hope it is a trend and not a one-off.

  12. #12 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    I wish SA would go more into bashing other realms of nonsense

    yeah, I was a little disappointed in the choices Shermer made to defend the idea that there is “debate” within evolutionary biologists as to mechanism.

    He used Lynn Margulis, for example, without bothering to mention she is an HIV denier, among other things.

  13. #13 raven
    April 9, 2008

    Crosspost from Pandasthumb:

    Coral Ridge used the Argumentium ad Hitlerium first in their landmark Darwindidit From Darwin to Hitler and Expelled just cloned it. Apparently the Jews weren’t too happy about the Blame Darwin lie. It will be interesting to see if they speak up this time around.

    They should. The Expelled liars are just using an atrocity to further their own ends. Which is to bring about another and potentially much larger atrocity.

    It also looks like they PZed/Dawkinsed Francis Collins.

    ADL Blasts Christian Supremacist TV Special & Book Blaming Darwin For Hitler New York, NY, August 22, 2006 …

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today blasted a television documentary produced by Christian broadcaster Dr. D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries that attempts to link Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to Adolf Hitler and the atrocities of the Holocaust. ADL also denounced Coral Ridge Ministries for misleading Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for the NIH, and wrongfully using him as part of its twisted documentary, “Darwin’s Deadly Legacy.”

    After being contacted by the ADL about his name being used to promote Kennedy’s project, Dr. Collins said he is “absolutely appalled by what Coral Ridge Ministries is doing. I had NO knowledge that Coral Ridge Ministries was planning a TV special on Darwin and Hitler, and I find the thesis of Dr. Kennedy’s program utterly misguided and inflammatory,” he told ADL.

    ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement:”This is an outrageous and shoddy attempt by D. James Kennedy to trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust. Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people. Trivializing the Holocaust comes from either ignorance at best or, at worst, a mendacious attempt to score political points in the culture war on the backs of six million Jewish victims and others who died at the hands of the Nazis.

    “It must be remembered that D. James Kennedy is a leader among the distinct group of ‘Christian Supremacists’ who seek to “reclaim America for Christ” and turn the U.S. into a Christian nation guided by their strange notions of biblical law.”

    The documentary is scheduled to air this weekend along with the publication of an accompanying book “Evolution’s Fatal Fruit: How Darwin’s Tree of Life Brought Death to Millions.”

    A Coral Ridge Ministries press release promoting the documentary says the program “features 14 scholars, scientists, and authors who outline the grim consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution and show how his theory fueled Hitler’s ovens.”

  14. #14 raven
    April 9, 2008

    The Jews themselves don’t buy the Darwindidit explanation. They should have an interest, seeing as how the Holocaust was one of a series of atrocities against them.

    I checked on evolutionary biology in Israel. Quite a bit is done there with programs at Tel Aviv U., Ben Gurion, Hebrew-Jerusalem, and Haifa. Either these are nests of Darwinists planning the next Holocaust or just normal scientists doing normal science.

    Evolutionary biology in Israel would make a nice blog post for anyone with access to Google and a few minutes.

    Crosspost from Pandasthumb:

    Gene that withstands salinity could mark agricultural boon By David Brinn July 04, 2006

    Imagine what it would mean for the world hunger problem if farmers could grow wheat and other crops on land considered unsuitable for agriculture.

    That day may be coming soon, after Israeli researchers from the Institute of Evolution of the University of Haifa, have succeeded in isolating a gene that withstands salinity.

    “The research will contribute to a significant increase in the amount of arable land available for agriculture,” said the institute’s director Professor Eviatar Nevo, who initiated and spearheaded the pioneering research.continues

    Oh gee, look what those evil Darwinists are doing at the University of Haifa. Trying to engineer crops that grow in high salinity soils. Must be just a time filler why they plot out the next Holocaust. Hmmm, where is Homeland Security and where in the hell is Haifa……..Oh Oh, it is in Israel. Someone call the Mossad!!!

    For any creos, that was a literary form called “sarcasm”.

  15. #15 raven
    April 9, 2008

    It’s the Hollocaust link that is the part which needs to be addressed:

    That is true. Most mainstream historians, Jewish and Xian, blame the Holocaust on the combination of German culture and German Xianity. Read wikipedia, Martin Luther and so on.

    And Hitler was a Catholic who babbled on about god and jesus just as much as an fundie homeschooled idiot. There are pages and pages of it.

  16. #16 Phoenix Woman
    April 9, 2008

    By the way, if you see an ad for the movie online, click on it. Repeatedly. Especially if it happens to be running on a website you like. Every click you make is money out of their pockets.

  17. #17 Bad
    April 9, 2008

    By discussing this movie so much, are we helping them promote it?

    Yes.

    Are we putting more money in their pockets?

    Yes.

    But if that’s their goal, they are welcome to it. Our goal is what they claim to support, but don’t: open debate and the success of ideas based on merit, rather than whining or big budget PR campaigns.

  18. #18 Benjamin Franklin
    April 9, 2008

    Screw Expelled!

    On April 18th, I think I’d rather see ZOMBIE STRIPPERS starring Jenna Jameson. I think it will have a much better basis in reality.

  19. #19 SLC
    April 9, 2008

    Re Ichthyic

    I agree with Mr. Ichthyic about Prof. Margulis who in addition also hobnobs with Holocaust deniers. She, like scientists Linus Pauling, Brian Josephson, J. Allen Hynek, William Shockley, etc., has turned into a whackjob.

    Re Xanthippa

    The issue as to Hitlers’ religious beliefs is not so simple and straightforward as Mr. Xanthippa describes. There is no question that Hitler used Christianity as a part of his portfolio of brainwashing techniques and in public, professed devout belief therein. However, there is evidence that his personal views were rather more contemptuous of religion in general and Christianity in particular, based on his private conversations with trusted aides and as reported by them. However, there is no doubt that centuries of antisemitism, starting with Martin Luther, prepared the groundwork for the Holocaust.

  20. #20 Lisa
    April 9, 2008

    Re 12: About Lynn Margulis, I’ve read her book and I would be interested in a critique of symbiosis as a method of speciation. I’m not saying it is the *only* method or even one that happens a lot, but I would be surprised if symbiosis is never a cause of speciation e.g things like Wolbachia which is a parasite of the cytoplasm can cause cytoplasmic incomparability between populations, which could lead to speciation, and it can also induce parthenogenesis. And when the mitochondria was first incorporated into the cell I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying that that could have lead to a speciation event, so I would be interested in what is wrong with that?

  21. #21 Lisa
    April 9, 2008

    Even if Lynn Margulis is a HIV denier etc. I don’t see what that takes away from her other work? You don’t have to be a nice person to have a good idea ;)

  22. #22 raven
    April 9, 2008

    However, there is evidence that his [Hitlers] personal views were rather more contemptuous of religion in general and Christianity in particular, based on his private conversations with trusted aides and as reported by them.

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

    Doesn’t matter, without willing cooperation from millions of German Xians, he would have just been another loon sitting in a bar, babbling away, and waiting for the internet to be invented so he could reach an audience measured in the dozens.

  23. #23 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    I don’t see what that takes away from her other work? You don’t have to be a nice person to have a good idea ;)

    It doesn’t at all take away from what came before. it does indeed impact the directions she has taken since.

    very much like Michael Behe.

  24. #24 Lisa
    April 9, 2008

    Still, in my opinion there’s nothing wrong with Shermer mentioning her earlier work! You could still debate her idea without the rest of it, her being X doesn’t make Y wrong, and the two don’t need to be mentioned together – especially if mentioning X automatically makes people think that Y must be wrong with no basis for that. Not at all condoning anything she may have said about HIV of course here, I just don’t see anything wrong with the theory (which can be disassociated from the person!). If someone says to me ‘Darwin was a racist’ my response is well even if he was… yes it does reflect badly on him but not his theory.

  25. #25 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    I’m not saying it is the *only* method or even one that happens a lot

    If you read her book, then you should know that SHE does.

    Lynn considers symbiosis to be a primary speciation mechanism.

    However, we simply do NOT see that when we look at actual examples of speciation.

    It happens, but it’s relatively rare. Note that this is entirely distinct from the idea that a symbiotic event generated things like chloroplasts and mitochondria.

    Lynn is of the position that one can essentially reject all other mechanisms of speciation (like selection, drift, etc.), in favor of symbiosis.

    Is that a bit clearer?

    It’s become quite hard to defend her over the last 10 years or so; she simply rejects anything that contradicts her idea that symbiosis drives everything (which is why, btw, she became an HIV denier).

    there was a good discussion with Lynn herself on Pharyngula about this some time back (maybe a year or so ago?).

    sorry to say, she really has gone around the bend for the most part, even from what I saw there.

    If I can find the link to the thread, I’ll post it for you.

  26. #26 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    ah, that wasn’t hard, and it was indeed a little over a year ago:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/03/lynn_margulis_blog_tour.php

    read for yourself, and determine whether she is being rational or not.

    I don’t know if the actual live conversations were saved anywhere, but they were even more enlightening.

  27. #27 JimboB
    April 9, 2008

    Even if it is “bad” publicity, that’s still better than no publicity for them.

    They (the IDiots) are like children. They can’t get much [if any] good attention, so they’re making a big scene and throwing temper tantrums to get negative attention.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think ignoring them would do us any good, either…

  28. #28 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    Still, in my opinion there’s nothing wrong with Shermer mentioning her earlier work!

    that wasn’t why Shermer brought her up.

    He brought her up as a representative of “current scientists” that “disagree” with much of the ToE, but haven’t been “excommunicated” from science. (sorry for all the scare quotes).

    It was a singularly bad example, as I think I have made clear.

  29. #29 Colugo
    April 9, 2008

    “Most mainstream historians, Jewish and Xian, blame the Holocaust on the combination of German culture and German Xianity.”

    Certainly the centuries-long tradition of Christian antisemitism Nazi has a crucial role. Populist economic-based antisemitism was also a longstanding rational for Jew-hatred. But like militant Islamism, there are both deeper roots and more recent influences. Western Europe, especially Germany, saw an exacerbation of antisemitism from the nineteenth century to the early twentieth century with increasingly racialized charges of political disloyalty and economic parasitism.

    As an example of how things got worse, the Pan-German League originally allowed Jews to become members, which seems extraordinary in light of later German history.

    Wilhelm Marr, a coiner of the term antisemitism – and an advocate of it – argued that the German people were engaged in an existential struggle against the Jews. Marr and other nineteenth and early twentieth century antisemites who helped drive German antisemitism to new levels of virulence often cited (bogus) economic grievances and gave these a racialist caste, suggesting that the problem could not be resolved through ordinary economic and political means since this was a war between races. The racialized antisemitic rhetoric predates Darwinism (e.g. Gobineau) but was refined by Ernst Haeckel and others.

    Even if we were to humor the Expelled crew and blame eugenics solely on Darwinism (I don’t) that still would fail to explain virulent antisemitism since, as Kevles notes, American eugenicists were generally opposed to the Nuremberg Laws. (However, Harry Laughlin helped establish immigration restrictions that kept Jews fleeing Europe out of the US.) Rather the Nazis referred to biology (especially the biology of parasitism within a social organicist model) as part of their “scientific” justification of antisemitism. (Galton likewise believed that Jews were a parasitic people, but it’s very doubtful that the Nazi got their Jew=parasite from him.) The Nazis combined biologicized, economic, and “spiritual” rationales for antisemitism.

    The other problem with the Expelled model is that something that is used to legitimize virtually anything (in the case of Darwinism: socialism, capitalism, male supremacy, feminism, warmongering, pacificism etc.) is logically determinative of nothing. Even at its origins it was compatible with Whiggish (Darwin) and socialist (Wallace) thought. The role of more specific movements like eugenics and “naturalized” racism/imperialism that at times employed Darwinian language and logic (however correctly or incorrectly, the fact is that they did) among other genres is a different matter. But while all of these are kinds of linkages there are difference between determining factors, influences, and rationales.

    Incidentally, though a nominal Catholic Hitler followed a doctrine called Positive Christianity and was actually more sympathetic to Protestantism than to Catholicism (see the book The Holy Reich).

  30. #30 Lisa
    April 9, 2008

    Yeh I do know she does, seems to me she had a good idea then ran with it, and ran far too far :P which is why I made clear I didn’t think it was the only method, since I don’t agree with her on that! I see nothing wrong with debating it, even if the outcome of that has led to the conclusion: it can happen, but not often. Although, if this is no longer something anyone does discuss (other than her) then I agree its probably pointless of Shermer to bring it up then , although for that reason rather than her being a bit mad (if what you say is correct)! Although I suppose his main point is that she wasn’t sacked for it, even if she is still discussing it when everyone else already has agreed on the conclusion.

  31. #31 Lisa
    April 9, 2008

    Thanks for the link, will have a read!

  32. #32 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    I see nothing wrong with debating it

    if you check out the thread I linked to, I think you would find nobody else has a problem debating it either.

    it’s just readily verifiable that her idea is simply not supported by the evidence.

    (if what you say is correct)!

    don’t take my word for it; read the thread yourself, see her responses for yourself.

    I don’t think her “mad” so much as I think her capitulating to her own delusions.

    It’s someone I would listen to, but at the same time keep “at arms length”, if you know what I mean.

    The same would be said of one of Shermer’s other examples, Joan Roughgarden.

    her attacks on sexual selection theory are overly simplistic and smack of personal agenda.

    I rather think Shermer could have chosen much better examples of debate within the scientific community.

    heck, didn’t PZ just post a great example from the evo-devo conference in Oregon?

    there are thousands of excellent examples like that (or say, going back a few decades, to the debates between Gould and Dawkins), but they don’t get nearly as much press, so don’t get noticed by science writers like Sherman, I would guess.

  33. #33 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    Although I suppose his main point is that she wasn’t sacked for it

    yes, that was indeed his main point, i just thought he could use far better examples than the ones he chose.

    It is perhaps the case that he deliberately chose some of the more “out there” candidates, though, to further stress the idea that we don’t toss people for even wacky ideas.

    which brings us back to Behe, I suppose.

    He’s still at his Uni. Wonder why the creobots never bother to mention that?

    so is Nelson, BTW (at Berkeley)

  34. #34 Lisa
    April 9, 2008

    Sorry, I shouldn’t have said a problem with debating, really I should have said I have no problem with Shermer mentioning her, especially as she may be someone other people will know (although, perhaps for the wrong reasons nowadays, I hadn’t heard about any of this!). I think we basically agree anyway though, I wouldn’t say it was the best example to use either. It was more that I was curious if there was any reason for symbiosis not to cause speciation than anything else that I posted, although that was lazy really should do an article search myself ;)

  35. #35 Bad
    April 9, 2008

    The two text reviews here are quite good, and Rennie’s review actually gelled something I’d been thinking about for awhile on the Holocaust argument: the Armenian genocide. This was a genocide prior to the Nazis that didn’t even have the veneer of eugenic/”Darwinian” ideas floating through it. And as I note, it’s a pretty good example of how it was the mass organizational powers of the modern state, along with modern technologies and ideas on how to kill tons of people at once, that really seem to be what’s “necessary” for modern genocide. Not any random political philosophy that justifies the use of power to kill. It’s not like human beings have ever lacked for some rationale to justify that.

  36. #36 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    especially as she may be someone other people will know

    yes, you might be right there.

    I just wonder about the consequences of using those particular examples.

    meh, it probably doesn’t matter. anyone who would “make hay” of it probably hasn’t a clue anyway.

  37. #37 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    It was more that I was curious if there was any reason for symbiosis not to cause speciation than anything else that I posted

    just to again be clear:

    there isn’t. It HAS been a documented mechanism of speciation.

    it’s just not the primary mechanism that Margulis would paint it as.

    Moreover, in her analysis, she tends to deliberately ignore the obvious implications selection would have on the very system she proposes.

    IOW, it appears she might be looking at the effects, instead of the causes.

  38. #38 Blake Stacey
    April 9, 2008

    There is no question that Hitler used Christianity as a part of his portfolio of brainwashing techniques and in public, professed devout belief therein. However, there is evidence that his personal views were rather more contemptuous of religion in general and Christianity in particular, based on his private conversations with trusted aides and as reported by them.

    Hitler’s Table-Talk is generally regarded as having rather low reliability: there’s a confusing mess of different editions, and translations are not reliable. In a way, that’s rather unfortunate, since it’s also where one finds gems like this:

    Whence do we get the right to believe that man was not from his very beginnings that what he is today? A look at nature shows us that, in the realm of the plants and animals, changes and adaptations happen. But no development is shown, inside a species, that includes a leap as large as man would have had to make to evolve from some apelike state to what he is today.

    Offhand, I don’t know if this quote is reliable (I’ve seen it given in German, too, FWIW). But there you have it: if Hitler hated Christianity, then he didn’t believe in macroevolution either.

  39. #39 Stanton
    April 9, 2008

    Even if it is “bad” publicity, that’s still better than no publicity for them.

    By this same logic, it’s far better to eat rat poison than to starve to death.

  40. #40 Jennifer
    April 9, 2008

    What’s wrong with offering both viewpoints in the schools and allowing the students to make up their own minds. I haven’t seen the film however, I have heard that is the goal. More importantly than what everyone thinks is the right or wrong viewpoint, is the option of allowing people to make up their own minds.

    I think that students in high school should have the option of making up their own mind by being offered the different viewpoints.

  41. #41 Glen Davidson
    April 9, 2008

    What’s wrong with offering both viewpoints in the schools and allowing the students to make up their own minds. I haven’t seen the film however, I have heard that is the goal. More importantly than what everyone thinks is the right or wrong viewpoint, is the option of allowing people to make up their own minds.

    I think that students in high school should have the option of making up their own mind by being offered the different viewpoints.

    So, the idea of actually teaching students what science is, before they deal with the question of what science is, hasn’t occurred to you?

    Should we teach Plato’s theory of forms in science class, and let the students decide? Should we teach Ovid’s Metamorphoses in science class along with evolution and let the students decide? Should we teach MOND and string theory to high school students along with “proven theories,” and let them decide? What the hell do you think teaching science entails anyway, Jennifer, just throwing ideas out and having high school and younger students vote on them? How will they even be capable of deciding what is and isn’t science, if you’re simply aborting their education about what science is before they understand it?

    Most of all, why should claims like ID which do not comport with science, but even attempt to subvert the standard rules of evidence used in science and in the judiciary, be taught in science class–especially when it would only be done because theocrats don’t like the conclusions of science? Is science class supposed to be about students deciding whether they like science better, or religion better? Why do you think that students shouldn’t have the benefit of finding out what science is, and then deciding whether or not they prefer science to religion, or even in addition to religion?

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

  42. #42 raven
    April 9, 2008

    ROBOT ALERT!!! ROBOT ALERT!!!

    Jennifer the creo-robot spammer:

    What’s wrong with offering both viewpoints in the schools and allowing the students to make up their own minds.

    1. It is blatantly illegal to sneak religion into kids science classes. Creationism/ID are cult religious beliefs.

    2. There aren’t two viewpoints. You lied!!! There are dozens of creation myths. Which religion are we sneaking in here? Moonies, Scientology, FSM, Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan? Keeping religion in the home and church were it belongs protects everyone.

    FWIW, the Expelled creos are spamming the internet. Jennifer is a robot. You will meet other robots in the next week. Robots never reply back because….they are just software.

    2.

  43. #43 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    What’s wrong with offering both viewpoints in the schools and allowing the students to make up their own minds.

    What church do you attend, Jennifer?

    i want to visit to present my alternate pantheon so you and the rest of your particular church group can decide for themselves which god they should be worshiping.

    frankly, I think this would be much more edutational than the obvious approach Glen has already delivered to you, and if you had a brain in your head, Glen wouldn’t have had to bother with.

    You obviously need help deciding which deities are best worshiped.

    Can I pencil in a time?

  44. #44 MikeM
    April 9, 2008

    I read a really positive review of this scam, er, movie in American Spectator magazine. Nearly puked.

    As a public service, I refuse to give the URL. You wanna read it, you’re on your own.

  45. #45 wazza
    April 9, 2008

    The problem, Jennifer, is that one viewpoint is supported by all the evidence, and the other doesn’t explain or gain support from any of it. The viewpoints are not equal, and to represent them as such is to bear false witness.

    The goal of the film is not to ask for the viewpoints to be presented equally; it is to tell lies about the viewpoint which is supported by all the evidence and explains everything we see in biology, and to paint that viewpoint as dangerous and despicable when it is not.

  46. #46 Colugo
    April 9, 2008

    Bad: “it was the mass organizational powers of the modern state, along with modern technologies and ideas on how to kill tons of people at once, that really seem to be what’s “necessary” for modern genocide.”

    That’s correct from the logistical standpoint, including communications media (use of radio in Rwanda).

    “Not any random political philosophy that justifies the use of power to kill. It’s not like human beings have ever lacked for some rationale to justify that.”

    Right; a wide varieties of rationales and strategic objectives have had roles in modern genocides.

    Hitler also says in Table Talk: “The monkeys, our ancestors of prehistoric times, are strictly vegetarian.”

    But, as was mentioned, the authenticity of Table Talk is in doubt.

    The apparent contradiction of Hitler’s statements against Christianity on the one hand and praise for Christianity on the other is resolved when it is realized that he is discussing two contrasting Christianities, “negative” and “positive.” “Negative” Christianity fixates on Christ’s death while “positive” Christianity focuses on his alleged message – namely, opposition to Jewish capitalism.

    Nazi antipathy to Darwinism was due to its materialism and lack of teleology, not because it was macroevolutionary or referred to natural selection. There were a plurality of sometimes conflicting approaches within explicitly pro-Nazi biology: Haeckelian, anti-Haeckelian, holist, mechanist. Haeckel’s Monist League was banned but an SS-affiliated Ernst Haeckel Society was formed. The Haeckelian race scientist Heberer, favored by Himmler, contributed to the still-new modern synthesis during the Nazi era, and Konrad Lorenz asserted that evolutionary biology supported Nazi volkish values.

    Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, The Myth of the Twentieth Century, 1931:

    “Humanity, the universal church, or the sovereign ego, divorced from the bonds of blood, are no longer absolute values for us. They are dubious, even moribund, dogmas … which represent the ousting of nature in favour of abstractions. The emergence in the nineteenth century of Darwinism and positivism constituted the first powerful, though still wholly materialistic, protest against the lifeless and suffocating ideas which had come from Syria and Asia Minor and had brought about spiritual degeneracy.”

  47. #47 Bubba Sixpack
    April 9, 2008

    So according to Shermer (writing for Scientific American), only around 2 actual Pepperdine students showed up to listen to Ben Stein rant? Ben Stein had to hire extras to pretend to be students listening to him at Pepperdine?

    ROFL!

    How embarrassingly pathetic.

  48. #48 Bill
    April 9, 2008

    Jennifer – Literature is taught in English classes, History is taught in History classes, Science is taught in Science classes, and matters of faith are taught by parents or in Sunday School.

    ID is NOT science. It is not based on observation, it makes no predictions, and it can not be tested. It is based on false assumptions, logical fallacies, and outright lies. ID has no legitimacy. ID is fake. It doesn’t exist.

    Adding ID to public schools is not an attempt to teach “critical thinking” or to provide “alternatives” but a blatant attempt to inject a creationist religious belief into Government funded schools in direct conflict with the Constitution of the United States of America.

    As a non-Christian, non-creationist I would not want my children being taught those beliefs in a public school any more then a Christian would want the Muslim version of Genesis (which includes another type of “man” created from smokeless fire called the Djin) taught in their Sunday School as an “opposing viewpoint” so that the kids could decide for themselves.

  49. #49 Martin
    April 9, 2008

    More importantly than what everyone thinks is the right or wrong viewpoint, is the option of allowing people to make up their own minds.

    Jennifer, reality is not subject to a popularity contest, and science is about facts, not “viewpoints.” That you think this is about “viewpoints” means you’ve swallowed the whole creationist propaganda pitch hook, line and sinker. The goal of the ID camp, and this stupid movie, is to deceive the uneducated into thinking the evolution/creationism battle is simply a competition between opinions in which one side is suppressing the other. What it actually is, is a group of religious fundamentalists resenting the fact that scientific facts don’t flatter their beliefs, and doubly resentful of the fact they cannot get away with simply dressing up their religious beliefs in a pseudoscientific cloak and having them taught as “alternative theories.”

    Letting students “make up their own minds” about evolutionary biology is no more sensible than letting them do so about gravity, or chemistry, or math, or history, or any other subject. There’s a reason we don’t teach Holocaust Denial in history class as an alternate “theory.” There’s a reason we don’t let kids decide 2 + 2 does not have to equal 4 if they don’t want it to.

    Clearly, the whole point of education itself is something that eludes you.

  50. #50 Molly, NYC
    April 9, 2008

    I see that Expelled is mostly being shown far away from New York or L.A (according to Fandango, no closer to NYC than Seacaucus, NJ, and no closer to L.A. than Alhambra–one screen each).

    Stein is likely concerned about getting work after this, because this film will have the same effect on his career (which hangs on his image as a man of some intelligence) as being caught with kiddie porn would have on Santa Claus’s. So it’s not being shown where people in the entertainment industry are likely to see it.

  51. #51 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    there were a plurality of sometimes conflicting approaches within explicitly pro-Nazi biology: Haeckelian, anti-Haeckelian, holist, mechanist….

    there he goes again…

    before you go on yet another tour de force of your theories of eugenics, might I remind you of the topic of the thread, Colugo?

  52. #52 Colugo
    April 9, 2008

    Yes, Ichthyic, the Expelled thesis of Darwinism-led-to-Auschwitz (as I today saw Ben Stein claim in a Christian TV channel interview) is crap. Happy?

    I know what the thread topic is. I was commenting on other commenters.

  53. #53 Ian
    April 9, 2008

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

    I’ve never heard this before. Is there evidence for it?

  54. #54 Ichthyic
    April 9, 2008

    I know what the thread topic is. I was commenting on other commenters.

    just cutting you off at the pass.

    Happy?

    yes, actually.

    I apologize for the offense, but felt it needed to be done.

  55. #55 Michael
    April 9, 2008

    @ #10

    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.

    This applies only to people who were at some point members of a church. If you have never been baptized you don’t need to show that you quit the church. Also the money (minus a handling fee for the govt.) goes to whatever church you list on your tax form, not just the catholic church.

    The tax is clearly listed on salary statements and (if you file taxes) on the tax report. Not knowing about it requires ignoring lots of paperwork.

    The amount is 8-9% (depends on the church) of your income tax, not your income.

  56. #56 raven
    April 9, 2008

    There is a vast literature on this. And no doubt that a lot of Hitler’s supposed anti-Xian quotes are forged lies by Xians trying to coverup. A lot of people and organizations have been trying to pass the blame along since WWII. Google Hitler forged documents christianity and get 250,000 hits. One source is below.

    http://ffrf.org/fttoday/2002/nov02/carrier.php

    Was Catholic Hitler “Anti-Christian”?
    On the Trail of Bogus Quotes
    By Richard C. Carrier

    Stevens and Cameron are certainly guilty of some shameful incompetence, if not outright dishonesty. Nor does Trevor-Roper have much of an excuse. But the real culprit is François Genoud. David Irving tells how Genoud attempted to hoax him in the 1970s with a forgery of “Hitler’s Last Testament.”7 Genoud even confessed the forgery to Irving, declaring in his defense, “But it’s just what Hitler would have said, isn’t it?” He was evidently willing to perpetrate a hoax, thinking it permissible to fabricate the words of Hitler if it was what he believed Hitler “would have said.” His motives for doctoring the Table Talk may be unfathomable. Genoud was a very strange man with a colorful history: a Swiss banker and Nazi spy who laundered money for the Third Reich, a self-professed neo-Nazi even up to his suicide in 1996 (though, stranger still, he never supported the holocaust), a voracious purchaser and profiteer of Nazi archives, and an admitted financer of terrorists.8

  57. #57 MH
    April 9, 2008

    François Genoud: “But it’s just what Hitler would have said, isn’t it?”

    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: “But it’s just what Jesus would have said, isn’t it?”

  58. #58 Monado, FCD
    April 9, 2008

    Y’know, I went past Coral Ridge in January and I forgot to spit….

  59. #59 Patricia C.
    April 9, 2008

    Just FYI – a VHS your library may have (mine here in Redneck of the Woods does)- Discovery Channel, Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy, ISBN 1-56331-743-5.
    Having only a high school education I can’t vouch for it’s correctness, but I found it interesting. There is some ritual explained.

  60. #60 Doug
    April 10, 2008

    I work at the Post Office and there are a lot of pro-Expelled mailers going through. I’m assuming that everyone on the AIG mailing list is getting one. The letters encourage people to promote the film and raise money to get people out to see the film. It appears they are putting out a bigger effort to promote this film than they did the Jesus snuff film a few years back.

    Controversy sells. I imagine a decent opening night but viewership will die off tremendously by the next weekend.

  61. #61 Mobius loops breakfast cereal
    April 10, 2008
  62. #62 Katherine
    April 10, 2008

    Probably old news now, but it gave me a laugh:
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/viewstory.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200804/CUL20080402a.html

    I particularly like:
    “Although the filmmakers noticed that Dawkins had arrived at the Minneapolis screening uninvited, they decided to let him in anyway after he signed in as “Clinton Dawkins,” Mathis said.”

    and:
    “At the screening that Dawkins entered, Myers also tried to enter but was spotted by an “Expelled” staffer.”

    If true (and I have my doubts) it implies that both Dawkins and PZ Myers were recognised, and PZ was considered the bigger threat.

    For those wanting to see future screenings, apparently the trick to getting in is to sign up as “Clinton Dawkins”.

  63. #63 Uriel
    April 10, 2008

    I think Colugo a deserves molly nomination, at the very least, for his work in this thread.

    Impressive, that.

  64. #64 Kevin Johnson
    April 10, 2008

    Exactly. They need gullible people to swallow their lies, and they’re running into an ever-shrinking potential audience of the gullible.

    I should think that Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” proceeds might demonstrate that this audience is not so shrinking after all.

    And I would not be so surprised if the self same audience falls in for “Expelled.” After all, if the elongated torture of Jesus can be the subject of a world wide blockbuster, than Ben Sten’s drone is not so inconsistent with a sleeper hit either.

    I worry personally that like the shark in “Jaws”, after the movie’s initial bonanza, evolution will likewise suffer a similar effect from a people drunk on the terrorization, however fictional, of its subject matter.

    We might easily point out the sophistry of the message amongst ourselves. But this will not undo the syphoning of strength the Creationists will draw from this, and the sad fact remains, their fight against reason in the classroom prevailing over fear will have the force of a newly revived, dimwitted frenzy that may extend its dying breath now by many years to come.

  65. #65 Scote
    April 10, 2008

    “”Although the filmmakers noticed that Dawkins had arrived at the Minneapolis screening uninvited, they decided to let him in anyway after he signed in as “Clinton Dawkins,” Mathis said.”…
    If true (and I have my doubts) it implies that both Dawkins and PZ Myers were recognised, and PZ was considered the bigger threat.
    For those wanting to see future screenings, apparently”

    IIRC, Dawkins was prepared to sign in and had his passport with him but never actually was required to do so. The expelled producers learned about Dawkins full name from PZ and Dawkins web posts and spun the lie–of course if he did sign in they’d have his **signature** on file and could prove it. If they had it they’d be touting it on their website.

  66. #66 Colugo
    April 10, 2008

    Thank you Uriel. Although I cannot claim expertise, I have long had an interest in the history of both scientific racism and totalitarianism.

    Maybe someone else pointed it out, but there are several similarities between Expelled and Liberal Fascism. Among these: 1) politicized junk history intended for a popular audience, 2) so egregiously flawed that even some political allies reject its major claims, 3) Hitler, 4) converges on talking points used by some on the very far left.

    This emphasis on how Darwinism is related to imperialism and racism sounds very familiar. It reminds me of the 90s science wars which were not fundie vs science like the 00s but pomo/critical theory vs science. And there was a handful of people, who happened to be on the left, insisting that natural selection was about justifying greed, war, patriarchy, capitalism, white supremacy etc. It was not just an attack on evolutionary psychology but a less common broader critique of natural selection – “Darwinism” – itself.

    To play frame-meister for a second, I think Dawkins’ quaint habit of calling evolutionary science “Darwinism” is a bit out of step. I used to think that those who complained about the terms Darwinism or neo-Darwinism to describe contemporary evolutionary biology were overzealous Gouldians, but now I think they were right.

  67. #67 Wyrd
    April 10, 2008

    The only bad publicity is no publicity. The more people know about this movie, the more it helps the cause of “teach the controversy.”


    Furry cows moo and decompress.

  68. #68 Peter Mc
    April 10, 2008

    PZ, your original Expelled post is on the ‘Best of the Web’ on the UK Guardian newspaper’s ‘Comment is free’ page: http://tinyurl.com/lr9yk

  69. #69 uriel
    April 10, 2008

    This emphasis on how Darwinism is related to imperialism and racism sounds very familiar. It reminds me of the 90s science wars which were not fundie vs science like the 00s but pomo/critical theory vs science.

    As someone who tried to ride that one out in the academic whirlwind, (and eventually found himself under the bus, whether thrown or not,) I have to say yes and no.

    Yes, it seems familiar. But no, it is not just similar- it’s a blatant and deliberate hijacking of all of all of the worst excesses PoMo and Crit Theory, even while rejecting the label itself: incoherent relativism, identity politics seizing the reins over simple reason, and an embracing of the preconceived over the observed.

    Which is to say, for all the bleating objections individual IDists might might level against PoMo, its not just similar, its exactly the same. To paraphrase The Terminator- It’s what they do. It’s all they do.

    And this is not only limited to IDists- its basically the meme a large part of the right wing is operating under at present. I can’t listen to Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter or (god help me) Levin, without marveling at how amazingly well they have learned the shallow lessons the people they claim to hate have provided: no matter how much violence you need to do to simple reality, if there’s any way you can twist the facts into some convoluted balloon animal that pleases you- then you should be heralded for your supposed brilliance, rather than castigated for your obvious deceitfulness.

    And the story of Behe’s rise to semi-prominence makes this more than obvious. It’s no wonder Steve Fuller finds himself a fellow traveler.

  70. #70 Sigmund
    April 10, 2008

    The irony of the situation is that even if the IDiots were correct and Hitler was trying to put into effect an aspect of evolutionary theory, that particular aspect, namely micro-evolution through artificial selection, is one that’s fully accepted by almost all creationists – even Kent Hovind!
    So whats the next logical step?
    Start denying micro-evolution?

  71. #71 Michael
    April 10, 2008

    The Jews themselves don’t buy the Darwindidit
    explanation. They should have an interest, seeing as how the Holocaust was one of a series of atrocities against them.

    Did you read the Descent of Man by Darwin where it talks about higher races and lower races and people being closer to apes than others? As far as Darwindidit there is no such theory by Creationists, if you have any knowledge (science) about this subject concerning Christians, you will find “sin” is responsible for what Hitler did. The high and lower races defined by Darwin did influence Hilter’s thinking on one race being better or higher than another race. 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.

    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.

  72. #72 Ichthyic
    April 10, 2008

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

    repeating a lie often enough, really doesn’t make it true, despite what you’ve been led to believe.

    Darwin was no more responsible for the racism in his day, nor in Hitler’s, than YOU are.

    moron.

  73. #73 Sigmund
    April 10, 2008

    Michael, your statement might have more weight if it weren’t for the fact that at the time of the Scopes trial, and for two generations afterwards, racial segregation was the policy in those very schools.
    Are we seriously supposed to believe that this was due to ideas picked up from Darwin? You don’t think it strange that almost exclusively it was those regions where evolution teaching was banned that racial segregation was the norm?
    How did Darwin manage that?

  74. #74 Holbach
    April 10, 2008

    Earlier I praised Michael Shermer for his review of that
    crap Expelled movie in the March Scientific American. And yet, on the Skeptic page of the September, 2007 issue, he
    almost excoriated Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens for being a little too strident in their attacks on all religions, and chastised them in not being more open and
    tolerant to people with different views of expression.
    I considered this a cop-out and a weakening in the knees just at the time when we need a more forceful assault on
    all manner of religious and superstitious nonsense.
    This does not lessen my regard for Shermer, but he may just exhibit a little more weakening down the road to the detriment of the battle against all crap. As you readers know by now, I will not accede to any form of religious nonsense and remain steadfast against it. Perhaps a little strident humor here will suffice to express my attitude as expressed by thst famous western judge, Roy Bean: “Give them a fair trial, and then hang them.”

  75. #75 dr.filbert
    April 10, 2008

    Looks like more false advertising from eXpelled. Considering how the X is emphasize, the unwary movie goer may be enticed into thinking eXpelled is about seX.

  76. #76 Eric
    April 10, 2008

    I wonder what the ADL thinks of the film?

    ADL Blasts Christian Supremacist TV Special & Book Blaming Darwin For Hitler
    http://www.adl.org/PresRele/HolNa_52/4877_52.htm

    New York, NY, August 22, 2006 — The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today blasted a television documentary produced by Christian broadcaster Dr. D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries that attempts to link Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to Adolf Hitler and the atrocities of the Holocaust. ADL also denounced Coral Ridge Ministries for misleading Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for the NIH, and wrongfully using him as part of its twisted documentary, “Darwin’s Deadly Legacy.”

    …snip…

    ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement:”This is an outrageous and shoddy attempt by D. James Kennedy to trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust. Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people. Trivializing the Holocaust comes from either ignorance at best or, at worst, a mendacious attempt to score political points in the culture war on the backs of six million Jewish victims and others who died at the hands of the Nazis.

    read the complete article here…

  77. #77 MAJeff, OM
    April 10, 2008

    Finally, something that expresses the *jazz hands*

  78. #78 raven
    April 10, 2008

    Michael the lying Death Cultist:

    The Jews themselves don’t buy the Darwindidit
    explanation. They should have an interest, seeing as how the Holocaust was one of a series of atrocities against them.

    Did you read the Descent of Man by Darwin where it talks about higher races and lower races and people being closer to apes than others? As far as Darwindidit there is no such theory by Creationists, if you have any knowledge (science) about this subject concerning Christians,

    1. George Washington and Jefferson both owned slaves. As did many in the South until 1865. Neither read Darwin since he wasn’t even born then. Genocide and slavery are all through the bible and I doubt they read Darwin either. You are simply lying to blame slavery and racism on Darwin.

    2. Did you read my posts? The Jews don’t buy Darwindidit. They say so themselves, the ADL PR on it has been posted twice on this thread. And a whole lot of evolutionary biology is done at Israeli universities.

    3. “any knowledge (science) about this subject concerning Christians,” We all are learning a whole lot about fundie Death Cultists. They lie, hate, and then lie and hate some more. Practioners of Voluntary Ignorance who seek to destroy the USA, set up a theocracy, and bring back the Dark Ages. With the odd murder thrown in for variety. You are as evil as anyone on this earth today.

  79. #79 Glen Davidson
    April 10, 2008

    Did you read my posts? The Jews don’t buy Darwindidit. They say so themselves, the ADL PR on it has been posted twice on this thread. And a whole lot of evolutionary biology is done at Israeli universities.

    I agree, definitely. But I think it’s even worse than that, it’s virtually a matter of blaming the Jews, who accepted “Darwinism” quite fully, for the Holocaust. A cross-post:

    No one with a modicum of education buys their blaming the Holocaust on
    “Darwinism”.

    The truth is, it’s something like blaming the victim, since the Jews
    of Western Europe were typically more committed to science, including
    evolution, than was the population at large. Indeed, the US benefited
    from the Jewish influx from Europe during the Nazi period, because
    they brought a more cosmopolitan, rational, and science-oriented
    viewpoint to a somewhat provincially-thinking nation.

    But no, the remaining provincial “thinkers” want to blame the
    Holocaust on Enlightenment thinkers, of which the Jews in the West
    have tended to be examples. It’s not going to sell, except among the
    more vulnerable sections of society. And it may turn out eventually
    to have a bad name even there, once the dishonesty has been thoroughly
    exposed.

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

  80. #80 scottb
    April 10, 2008

    Having listened to the audio interviews this morning, I can attest that Mathis truly is an assprod. He uses several evasive tactics throughout the interview including: “I’m not a scientist”, “I had no control over what got edited in or out of the movie”, and “I don’t have time to read all the information about this or that”. It’s pathetic. It’s also pretty funny when he starts whining about Rennie getting to talk more than he does. Mathis also gets called out for mimicking Rennie to the other editors while Rennie was talking.

    At one point they get Mathis to acknowledge that science should be conducted using the scientific method. Unfortunately, Mathis always brings up Behe and Dembski as if they’re doing legitimate science and the SciAm editors don’t really hammer him on that point. It’s highly unlikely Mathis could begin to defend or even understand what Behe and Dembski are saying so I’m sure he’d evade but it would have been nice to have SciAm clearly point out that they’ve done no real science.

  81. #81 Colugo
    April 10, 2008

    Michael: “Darwin where it talks about higher races and lower races and people being closer to apes than others?”

    Then how did Thomas Jefferson arrive at the same views on race without benefit of Darwin? As for creationists and race, ever heard of creationist polygenesis (separate creation of races) or the curse of Ham? Michael, your understanding of intellectual history – including your own side – is grievously deficient.

  82. #82 Kevin
    April 10, 2008

    As has been mentioned, I highly suggest everyone listen to the podcast featuring Mathis on SciAm’s site.

  83. #83 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.”

  84. #84 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.”

  85. #85 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 10, 2008

    Please elaborate

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

  86. #86 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 10, 2008

    Please elaborate

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

  87. #87 phantomreader42
    April 10, 2008

    Glen D @ #79:

    No one with a modicum of education buys their blaming the Holocaust on “Darwinism”.
    The truth is, it’s something like blaming the victim, since the Jews of Western Europe were typically more committed to science, including evolution, than was the population at large. Indeed, the US benefited from the Jewish influx from Europe during the Nazi period, because they brought a more cosmopolitan, rational, and science-oriented viewpoint to a somewhat provincially-thinking nation.
    But no, the remaining provincial “thinkers” want to blame the Holocaust on Enlightenment thinkers, of which the Jews in the West have tended to be examples. It’s not going to sell, except among the more vulnerable sections of society. And it may turn out eventually to have a bad name even there, once the dishonesty has been thoroughly exposed.

    The phrase “Jewish Physics” comes to mind. The Nazis, like the creationists, willfully rejected reality. Once again, the Liars For Jesus™ show themselves as masters of projection.

  88. #88 phantomreader42
    April 10, 2008

    Scottb @ #80 (emphasis mine):

    Having listened to the audio interviews this morning, I can attest that Mathis truly is an assprod. He uses several evasive tactics throughout the interview including: “I’m not a scientist”, “I had no control over what got edited in or out of the movie“, and “I don’t have time to read all the information about this or that“. It’s pathetic. It’s also pretty funny when he starts whining about Rennie getting to talk more than he does. Mathis also gets called out for mimicking Rennie to the other editors while Rennie was talking.

    Wait a minute. Ass Prod Mathis, that is ASSOCIATE PRODUCER MATHIS, said that he “had no control over what got edited in or out of the movie“?

    How can you have a job like that and not have any control over the product you’re supposedly producing? What does an Ass Prod DO all day, if it has nothing to do with making the movie?

    And then he claims he didn’t have time to read all the information? YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE MAKING A FUCKING DOCUMENTARY, DUMBASS! How can you make a “documentary” without even making an effort to know what you’re talking about?

    Oh, yeah, it’s not a documentary at all. Just lies and Dishonesty Institute propaganda, badly spliced together with stolen copyrighted material.

    But hey, it’s not really lying as long as you’re Lying For Jesus™!

  89. #89 BennyP
    April 10, 2008

    I’d like to point out the act that you guys have promoted this thing above and beyond the hopes of the producers of the film. I have not heard the film mentioned anywhere other than this site – excepting a couple mentions on other sites that simply linked here.

    Poking a turd in the toilet simply keeps it afloat- shut the lid and flush.

  90. #90 Ann
    April 10, 2008

    Thanks, David. I was just going to mention the argument to consequences fallacy. Colugo seems to have come near it without stating it outright. All this debate about whether Darwin’s theories influenced Hitler, whether Hitler was a Christian, etc., is logically irrelevant. I know it’s interesting, but it takes us awfully far afield.
    Not only does the horror of the Holocaust say nothing about the validity of evolutionary theory, it seems much more likely that any attempt at eugenics was based on the principles of artificial selection that had been followed for hundreds of years.
    I suppose I’m just being naive, though, to hope that rational discussion would have any effect on the IDers.
    However, I’m planning to attend a showing of the film next week in the Seattle area. I hope it will be entertaining on some level.

  91. #91 386sx
    April 10, 2008

    Wait a minute. Ass Prod Mathis, that is ASSOCIATE PRODUCER MATHIS, said that he “had no control over what got edited in or out of the movie”?

    He would probably like to, but he doesn’t make the decisions over whether he has the control making process.

    And then he claims he didn’t have time to read all the information? YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE MAKING A FUCKING DOCUMENTARY, DUMBASS! How can you make a “documentary” without even making an effort to know what you’re talking about?

    True he’s making a documentary, but he doesn’t have any control over what information gets read and who makes the effort for putting in the documentary information processing process.

  92. #92 firemancarl
    April 11, 2008

    Just saw the commercial for Expelled on the History Channel around 830AM. Ugh.

  93. #93 Gadfly22
    April 11, 2008

    Just read Shermer’s review, and he includes a nice subtle touch in referring to “intelligent design creationism”. I suggest that it’s a good idea to adopt that phrase whenever referring to ID, constantly linking the pseudo-scientific-sounding “intelligent design” with the clearly religious-based “creationism”. It’s important to keep linking those concepts, and it’s far more accurate than intelligent design creationists’ use of “Darwinism” for all evolutionary theory.

  94. #94 Norman Doering
    April 11, 2008

    Glen Davidson wrote:

    All of those involved in the movie had better be thinking about either repudiating this heap of garbage quickly, or having it drag on their careers for the foreseeable future.

    Glen,

    You know the screenwriter, Kevin 11, you’ve left comments on his blog a while back. I think Kevin is starting to crack from all the negative remarks that are getting posted on his blog.

    He deleted one of mine and then left a message on my blog:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2008/04/what-frak-is-going-on-with-baltar.html

    Saying:

    Spam my blog again and you’ll be banned for good, Norman.

  95. #95 Glen Davidson
    April 11, 2008

    Saying:

    Spam my blog again and you’ll be banned for good, Norman.

    You might be Expelled®?

    I always wonder why they think that’s such a threat anyhow.

    But yeah, it’s fun to see him get rattled like that. I know he’s mentioned that he posts things to bother me, and one other person was named. Who cares about that worthless little apologetics blog, though?

    I can’t say I even care that much to see him flustered, yet it is good to see that all of the things he can’t possibly answer seem to be getting to him. You know that just once he’d love to get the better of someone on our side, only it’s just not very likely, and he has to live in denial of everything. He sure can’t back up a single blessed thing in his movie.

    Oh, by the way, Stein does say that Kevin wrote almost the whole thing, with himself only writing the bookends, and a little window dressing. One wonders if he’s being gracious all of a sudden, or if it’s just recently occurred to him that having less responsibility for the movie might be better after all.

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

  96. #96 Glen Davidson
    April 11, 2008

    Oh yeah, while he’s threatening you, Norm, Jeffrey S. is writing senseless gibberish without a peep from our oh-so-fair Kevin Miller. It’s sheer trollery, complete with obscenities, without relevance, and with little or no rationality. But that’s okay, Kevin’s hardly troubled by someone not making sense–he spent at least two years on Expelled, as close as I can figure it, after all.

    Just more of the equanimity of the Expelled folk. To be fair, if they could think they might act more fairly.

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

  97. #97 Norman Doering
    April 11, 2008

    Glen Davidson wrote:

    You might be Expelled®?
    I always wonder why they think that’s such a threat anyhow.

    Yea, I might get Expelled. I think I’ll push Kevin 11, but gently, in that direction. If I don’t do anything to outrageous I’ll have a blog post I can do on the irony of getting expelled by “Expelled!”

  98. #98 SteveM
    April 11, 2008

    In an earlier post somewhere here, I said that Mathis must really be working against ID by making such an awful movie and pulling so many PR blunders with respect to promoting the film. Well it seems I’m not the only one who thinks so,

    http://io9.com/378797/expelled-conspiracy-revealed

  99. #99 Dave
    April 12, 2008

    I don’t know if this quote has ever been more appropriate
    “By denying scientifc principles, one may maintain any paradox” – Galileo Galilei

  100. #100 Randy
    April 12, 2008

    well, stein hit the airwaves last night (hannity and colmes) and this AM (Today show), he is spinning spinning and more spinning. Takes the very few cases (sternberg et al) and keeps saying Sooo many people lose jobs, sooooo many people are silenced. Such a load of crap, but folks will begin to buy into it. Its the american way to believe conspiracies, and stein will covince many.

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