Pharyngula

Thieves and liars

Most of you have probably already seen this: David Bolinsky accuses Expelled of theft. Bolinski is the professional who invested a great deal of time and money in generating the “Inner Life of the Cell” video, only to see it misappropriated, misinterpreted, and misused by creationists to promote their absurdity. You can tell that Bolinski might be a little bit angry about this, but of course there’s not much that a few poorly paid college professors can do against the huge buckets of money from unscrupulous fat cat investors and bloated right wing ‘institutes’.

To Mr. Dembski: The only reason I am involved in this discussion is because I do not want the reputation of my company, hard-earned as it is, to be sullied by even oblique affiliation to your sort of smarmy ethics, if only through works of ours, purloined to fit your agenda. Last year you were charging colleges thousands of dollars to give lectures showing a copy of The Inner Life of the Cell, you claimed you “found somewhere”, with Harvard’s and XVIVO’s credits stripped out and the copyright notice removed (which is in itself a felony) and a creationist voice-over pasted on over our music (yes, I have a recording of your lecture). Harvard slapped you down for that, and yes there is a paper trail. One can only assume that had we not taken notice then, we would be debating The Inner Life of the Cell being used in EXPELLED, instead of a copy. You have enough of a colorful history that Harvard, in its wisdom, decided to ‘swat the gnat’ with as little fuss as possible. Imagine our surprise earlier this month, to see our work copied in a movie trailer for EXPELLED! And you are in the movie too! Not quite a star, but brown dwarfs are cool. XVIVO has no intention of engaging alone, in asymmetrical fighting against an ideological entity with orders of magnitude more resources than we have. That might make great theater, but would resemble a hugely expensive game of whack-a-ID. Boring!

You might also want to read Wesley Elsberry’s account of an interview with Stein: one of the problems with lying is maintaining consistency — big elaborate lies involving many people tend to unravel as the principals begin to contradict themselves. Mark Mathis has one account of the creation of the movie that claims it simply, gradually evolved to its current ideological state; Ben Stein casually mentions, however, that he was drawn to the film because, right from the beginning and well before they interviewed me and others, they had a clear, predetermined accusation to make. This is a movie built on lies from the very beginning.

Meanwhile, the reviews are trickling in. Greg Laden tells me there is a review in Time, and it’s negative. You can tell the writer is inclined to be sympathetic to the movie and wants to give it some credit, but has to admit that the claims of the film are unsupportable. Since he can’t do that, though, he has to resort to irrelevant atheist-bashing.

In fairness to Stein, his opponents have hardly covered themselves in glory. Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism. Biologist P.Z. Myers, for example, tells Stein that religion ought to be seen as little more than a soothing pastime, a bit like knitting. Books such as Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion often read like pure taunting, as when Hitchens pettily and pointedly types God as lowercase god. Tautology as typography is not the stuff of deep thought. Neither, alas, is Expelled.

Yes, I did say that. But remember, I was told specifically that this movie was to be about the “intersection of science and religion”, and their questions were all about atheism and religion, and my quote in that section is about why I think science erodes religious belief, well in keeping with what I was told the movie was about … if they’d asked me about specific issues in Intelligent Design creationism, I would have gladly addressed them (and they may have, but answers that were examples of “clear-eyed scientific empiricism” would not have made it into this movie). This is yet another example of how they skewed the interviews with editing. Hitchens isn’t in this movie, so why bring him up? And why get irate about capitalizing the name of a god? I can’t say that the typological argument for bestowing respect on a deity is very persuasive, either.

Man, at least Expelled is getting the reputation it deserves: a dishonest documentary that fails to make its case, that relies on dishonest interviewing techniques and misleading guilt-by-association … and don’t forget the Lord Privy Seals.

Comments

  1. #1 CalGeorge
    April 12, 2008

    Pump up the volume.

    We should orchestrate a blogswarm on this movie on its April 18 release date.

  2. #2 Reginald Selkirk
    April 12, 2008

    You see, this just makes their point even more. Darwinism leads to immorality. It has even somehow corrupted the fine Christofascists (including honorary Christofascist Ben Stein). Darwinism must be stopped before its immoral influence is totally out of control.

  3. #3 alex
    April 12, 2008

    ever the brilliant mind, Billy Dembski is cobbling together a response to the accusation of plagiarism by….
    requesting someone makes another infantile flash animation!

    he suggests a “spoof” of a coke advert. let’s hope it’s as accurate a “spoof” as the whole xvivo fiasco, then he can get a lawsuit from coca cola, that can only be good, can’t it? he can scream “i meant that” all over again.
    for Dembski’s sake, there’s gonna have to be a whole lot of flatulence in this one.

  4. #4 freelunch
    April 12, 2008

    Every time the lies are exposed, there’s a chance that some of the followers of the liars will reconsider following these clowns. Disastrous PR like Dover and Exposed will persuade a few religionists to be even more close-minded, but will also pry a few minds open.

  5. #5 Dana Hunter
    April 12, 2008

    Spanking Jeffrey was the most fun I’ve had in ages – I’ve never seen such a rousing defense of science sandwiched between such stupid arguments in my life.

    I think we may end up seeing an influx of atheists from this. If anything will send the fence-sitters into a screaming run away from religion, it’s the antics of these assclowns. And if none of you have seen the latest trio up at ERV’s, I cannot recommend her last three posts to you highly enough. Creationists for breakfast – mm-mm!

    CalGeorge, I think a blogswarm is just the thing. I mean, we won’t be at the film on its opening day. Right? Right.

    Thanks again for a masterful bashing, PZ!

  6. #6 keith
    April 12, 2008

    Well in addition to buying every councilman , science teacher, and youth minister in my college town a ticket ( they have to pick them up at the box office with an ID)I have spoken at length to the local police and asked them to have a good presence at the theatre for the first two days of showing to guard against people like ERV, Phillip Kleppa, and any other evo piglets from causing a disturbance.

    I have my own triple strength pepper spray and a mail order tazer so don’t worry …I’ll be fine.

    April 18th.. The Great Awakening.

  7. #7 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 12, 2008

    Off-topic, via zoon politikon on scienceblogs.de: Foreign Policy has this nice list of calls for violence from people who are currently politically active… a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, and a Jew.

  8. #8 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 12, 2008

    Off-topic, via zoon politikon on scienceblogs.de: Foreign Policy has this nice list of calls for violence from people who are currently politically active… a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, and a Jew.

  9. #9 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 12, 2008

    Good parody of the paranoid cre_ti_nist mindset, keith. “Triple strength” :-D

  10. #10 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 12, 2008

    Good parody of the paranoid cre_ti_nist mindset, keith. “Triple strength” :-D

  11. #11 Dan
    April 12, 2008

    I have my own triple strength pepper spray and a mail order tazer so don’t worry …I’ll be fine.

    April 18th.. The Great Awakening.

    Posted by: keith

    Wow… I knew this movie was all about censorship. Tell me again Keith, who are the Nazis?

  12. #12 MH
    April 12, 2008

    LOL. Keith is funny :D

  13. #13 raven
    April 12, 2008

    In fairness to Stein, his opponents have hardly covered themselves in glory. Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism.

    Bunch of nonsense.

    1. Science has answered ID empirically for 150 years. It was a dubious issue 1500 years ago and a dead one 75 years ago. Modern ID predates Darwin by 50 years and never went anywhere.

    2. The fundies don’t really care about science. At his point it is all about destroying our civilization and setting up a theocracy. One can cut and paste science articles from the National Library of Medicine 24/7. They aren’t going to read them, understand them, or care the slightest.

    3. The Militant Atheists were created by the Nihilist Xian Fundies. Civilizations always collapse sooner or later but they never go quietly into the Dark Ages. Anyone who wants a better life in the future rather than subsistence agriculture and scavenging for survival could and many are, cheering the MA’s on. This is one of the few groups to stand up for the reality based communities.

  14. #14 Dan
    April 12, 2008

    Oh… Keith’s doing parody?

    Never mind, then. Keep up the good work Keith.

  15. #15 Mike
    April 12, 2008

    I have to confess I was a little depressed by this….

    “XVIVO has no intention of engaging alone, in asymmetrical fighting against an ideological entity with orders of magnitude more resources than we have.”

    Perhaps we should organize a whip around in the scientifically literate community to level the playing field?? Much more interesting than a political contribution.

  16. #16 Peter Mc
    April 12, 2008

    ‘Evo piglets’. Truly Keith, Shakespeare lives on through your shining prose.

  17. #17 wazza
    April 12, 2008

    A call to violence from a buddhist?

  18. #18 Stephen
    April 12, 2008

    In fairness to Stein, his opponents have hardly covered themselves in glory. Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism.

    That’s utter crap. Time’s entertainment section has long been the worst part of an otherwise great magazine, and this is what happens when they leave a scientific issue for the entertainment editors to handle.

  19. #19 raven
    April 12, 2008

    Harvard and XVIVO really have to take the Expelleds to court. Something familiar, it is long, tedious, and expensive but the truth outs in the end. And if you win, you can be awarded legal fees and court costs and these can be in the millions.

    If Expelleds were smart, they would just take the segment out and substitute more Nazis or a cartoon of scientists beating puppies to death. Their target audience of fundie morons won’t notice or care in the least.

    crosspost from PT.

    raven said:
    Yeah, yeah, I was wrong. [Copyright infringement can be both civil and criminal offenses.] So they are crooks and will go to jail. See if I care. LOL

    In civil trials discovery can be extensive and last for months. Depositions are taken under oath and transcribed and videotaped.

    You can only take the 5th amendment in criminal trials or if testimony in a civil case is likely to lead to criminal prosecution or be used in a criminal case. You can’t just take the 5th because you don’t want to tell the truth.

    There will be paper and computer trails and multiple witnesses. The small fry, if they are smart will tell the truth. Perjury is a criminal offense and Mathis, Miller, Dembski, et al. aren’t worth it.

    The fact that they are lying and changing their story already is bizarre. First rule of coverups, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. They may yet turn a civil case into a jail sentence.

  20. #20 raven
    April 12, 2008

    “XVIVO has no intention of engaging alone, in asymmetrical fighting against an ideological entity with orders of magnitude more resources than we have.”

    Not sure what XVIVO means here. Harvard certainly has the resources and lawyers to take on Expelled.

    The money is the least of their worries or should be. Does Harvard really want to see their work misappropriated by another dishonest From Darwin to Hitler clone? This is as clear a case of good versus evil as one will find.

  21. #21 philos
    April 12, 2008

    During prime time, I saw a commerical for the Expelled movie.

    I was impressed – as that’s got to be expensive.

    I also saw Stein on an interview with Hannity & Colmes yesterday – someone may wish to put a link up.

    I’ll go to the movie just out of interest.

    Tampering down truly scientific opinion that may question evolution in any way, just erodes academic freedom.

    Look up “Altenberg 16″; noted evolutionists aren’t invited as they just don’t know how to behave, are dogmatic & can’t get along with others.

  22. #22 Kseniya
    April 12, 2008

    Not quite a star, but brown dwarfs are cool.

    Laugh of the day! (So far.)

  23. #23 wazza
    April 12, 2008

    Is this a creobot, or someone who actually believes that tripe?

  24. #24 philos
    April 12, 2008

    Please note, the key operative words are “truly scientific”

  25. #25 ennui
    April 12, 2008

    What the hell does ‘Tampering down’ mean? Is this one of those ‘truly scientific’ terms that I just don’t understand?

  26. #26 wazza
    April 12, 2008

    Of course, we don’t suppress truly scientific opinions… it’s just that ID isn’t one.

  27. #27 Rowan
    April 12, 2008

    Just a thought. Why don’t PZ, RD et al make their own recordings of whenever they are interviewed by anyone on the science/religion topic? Even with a handheld camera. This would be an easy way to ensure that everyone can watch the uncut interviews without the manipulative editing to make them look like evil puppy-eating atheists.

    Surely this wouldn’t be too hard to do…?

  28. #28 PZ Myers
    April 12, 2008

    Why don’t PZ, RD et al make their own recordings of whenever they are interviewed by anyone on the science/religion topic?

    I think I’ve been told this about ten thousand times now. Here’s the catch: scientists don’t assume that people asking them questions are dishonest frauds who want to distort their words.

    But yes, in the future, I will have at least an audio recording device with me, and will make a copy of the unedited recording a prerequisite for my participation. That’s one of the disillusioning things about this whole episode: encounters with liars like Mark Mathis diminish your trust in the human race.

  29. #29 Marcus Ranum
    April 12, 2008

    A call to violence from a buddhist?

    Buddhism is as red-handed as christianity; don’t fall for the hype. Of course “no true buddhist…” applies but if you want a few examples, consider the Nichiren doctrine that wholeheartedly supported the divine emperor of Japan and a bit of buddhist-on-buddhist and buddhist-on-taoist massacre in China. It was one of the leading lights of Nichiren buddhism who cooked up the idea of flying explosives-loaded airplanes into ships! Instant karma! And how about those fun-loving yellow hat Tibetan buddhists? There used to be yellow hat buddhists and red hat buddhists in Tibet (I think I have my colors right) but there were numerous wars of eradication between the various peace-loving factions of the enlightened. Guess what happened to the guys in the wrong colored hats? Karma! That was mostly wrapped up by the 18th century. The current dalai lama is as much as survivor of a brutal darwinian process as the pope.

    Buddhism: there’s nothing new here; move along.

  30. #30 Kimpatsu
    April 12, 2008

    I always write “god” in lower case, because I was taught as a child that the capital “G” is reserved for the One True God (TM) only, and as there’s no such creature, the word has no more resonance to me than does “chair” or “table”.

  31. #31 Kseniya
    April 12, 2008

    I believe Philos meant “tamping down”.

  32. #32 Rowan
    April 12, 2008

    Yeah I understand completely that you wouldn’t expect the interviewer to be a dishonest fraud. I’m sure you are interviewed regularly by normal honest people and maybe it wouldn’t be feasible for you to record EVERY interview just in case its an IDiot in disguise.

  33. #33 MAJeff, OM
    April 12, 2008

    encounters with liars like Mark Mathis diminish your trust in the human race.

    See! An evotard talking about race! NAZI! Stein is right! [/keith]

    just had to get it out of the way.

  34. #34 Paul Lundgren
    April 12, 2008

    I was upset by the decision not to sue, as well, until I read his explanation, that the film-makers were already giving themselves a bad name and destroying their credibility without Harvard or XVIVO spending a dime. THAT I can understand.

    And the film-makers actually budgeted for a lawsuit by Harvard. THAT deserves no further comment, now does it? Well, OK, maybe one: Why not just get Harvard’s permission? It would be probably cheaper. Answer: Because Harvard and XVIVO would never agree to lend their credibility to such dreck.

    Dr. Myers, off topic, more Catholic bigotry, in case you missed it.

  35. #35 deerjackal
    April 12, 2008

    I wouldn’t be “impressed” by that commercial, monetary or otherwise. It’s absolutely painful.

    I’m sure someone’ll upload it to YouTube soon, but let me offer my description.

    A biologist is lecturing dryly about evolution. Naturally this biologist is an ancient old fart with barely tended hair and beard, hunched and leaning on a cane.

    Cue Mr. Stein trying to break from his monotone, questioning the ultimate origin of life, snarkily addressing the professor as “dude.” Yes, “dude.” Cut to scene of Stein sitting in a hallway with a younger student who asks him why he was kicked out. I don’t remember Stein’s response as I’m still twitching from some droning old pecker using the word “dude.”

    Then a flash of images and a claim of being “this year’s most controversial documentary film,” accented by a shot of Dawkins lifting a brow.

    Yeah…

  36. #36 Rowan
    April 12, 2008

    This might be a stupid question, but is there any talk of a counter-movie or documentary being made? One which elegantly explains the evolutionary process and the evidence for it, debunks ID and also exposes the fraudsters at the DI and the producers of Expelled. Something aimed at the general public….

    p.s. ID logic is flawed. Everyone knows this. Here’s a video explaining it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO2n3GHGK7c

  37. #37 Brendan S
    April 12, 2008

    The other thing to note about copyright law is that if you can be shown to not be defending your copyrighted work against infringement just once, it more or less opens to the door for people to do whatever they want.

    This is, of course, a gross simplification. But the point is valid.

  38. #38 dmso74
    April 12, 2008

    Might I suggest that “someone” (perhaps a group effort) work up a brief flyer to hand out to people going to see Expelled. It should be non-snarky, non-confrontational, with some simple points and web addresses to go to for more information: e.g.

    “Intelligent design is not science. It is a political movement, and is in fact anti-science. It can not be tested scientifically, and as a result has not made any contributions to scientific progress or understanding. See talkorigins, etc. for more information”

    and of course some clarifications on the false martyrhood of Crocker, Sternberg and Gonzalez

    “Crocker taught long discredited, non-scientific ideas in a science classroom as if they were true, and her contract was thus justly not renewed” “Sternberg was never actually employed by the SMithsonian, and did not lose any of his research privileges, despite allowing, while he was the editor, a junk science article to be published in a scientific journal with close ties to the Smithsonian.” “Gonzalez was denied tenure for standard reasons: his publication record trailed off soon after he was hired, he did not secure any significant grant money, he did not produce any graduate students and he conducted very little new research. Assistant professors are denied tenure every day all over the country for these same reasons.”

    anyone care to add?

  39. #39 True Bob
    April 12, 2008

    Thanks PZ, I was unfamiliar with Lord Privy Seals. A fine term for shoddy work.

    Meanwhile, back to the schadenfreude.

  40. #40 Russell Seitz
    April 12, 2008

    Given that Expelled evidently regards the CGI equivalent od photoshopping as Fair Usage, their own icons ought to be fair game –

    http://adamant.typepad.com/seitz/2008/03/idiocy-of-bibli.html

  41. #41 windy
    April 12, 2008

    “accented by a shot of Dawkins lifting a brow”

    Sounds positively militant! Dawkins lifting his brows at some poor religionist! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!

  42. #42 andyo
    April 12, 2008

    Making a big deal (or any kind of deal for what it’s worth) about lower-casing “god” immediately loses my respect for the reasoned opinion of the speaker. That’s one of the most ridiculous things to be offended about, and we all know most religious are experts on getting offended.

    I’ve got a free subscription to time magazine (oops, it should be TIME) and it hasn’t impressed me very much. Last week they had a very weak article about pOPE rATZI, which seemed like just a filler.

  43. #43 Marcus Ranum
    April 12, 2008

    The idea of an “Expelled Fact Sheet” is delicious. Just a 1 pager of the high points. Make a PDF available so that anyone who wants to go play evilutionist educator ninja could go hand a few out when there’s a showing. Or, better still, go to the movie and hand them out to the attendees as they are entering the theater, once you’re inside and have paid for your ticket.

  44. #44 rrt
    April 12, 2008

    Have I missed something? There was a decision not to sue?

  45. #45 Brendan S
    April 12, 2008

    Is the NCSE planning on using expelledexposed for a point-by-point refutation? Such a thing should probably exist somewhere, complete with links and siting to support the work. Much like talkorigins is, it would be nice to have a set of facts that runs down the points in the movie, and contrasts them with reality.

    Then any flyers or whatever that are handed out could point to a website with a wealth of information.

  46. #46 kid bitzer
    April 12, 2008

    upper case/lower case: here’s what’s at stake.

    most monotheists, but xtian fundies in particular, would like you to develop a “personal relationship w/ god”. they want you to think there’s a person up there.

    so it’s important for that person to have a name.

    by capitalizing ‘god’, you treat it as a personal name, a proper noun. talk to a linguist and they can show you a bunch of syntactic substitution-tests for personal-noun syntax. capital-g god passes them. that’s the point of using it that way; it’s a cheap way to earn the assumption of existence.

    common nouns come with lower-case names: pumpkin, bagel, table, etc. there are plenty of each one (call ‘em ‘sortals’ if you like fancy terms).

    ‘god’ is a sortal, like ‘unicorn’–there might have been whole flocks and herds of gods around, but there ain’t. there might have been so many that we run out of names for them, like the grains of sand and the stars. (treat those ‘mights’ as epistemic if you’re worried about the S5 argument).

    referring to gods that way cuts out the assumption of uniqueness, the assumption of personhood, and the assumption of existence.

    which is only fair, since there are no good proofs that any gods exist, and even the most elaborate proofs fail to make the gods unique or person-like.

    so the point of lower-case ‘god’? it isn’t disrespect. it’s syntax. it is refusing to be complicit in an unearned inference to person-hood that comes with treating a word as though it’s a proper name.

    there is no allah but Allah: that’s the trick in a nutshell. denying that the sortal has any other instances than the unique personal god you happen to believe in, and insinuating that it does have one unique instance that is a person with a proper name.

    it’s a bullshit trick no matter what language you grunt it in.

  47. #47 raven
    April 12, 2008

    This might be a stupid question, but is there any talk of a counter-movie or documentary being made?

    Well yes. I have a script for Beaten Up, Fired, and Killed: The story of fundie attacks on scientists and science supporters. Below in quotes. This is the movie that should be made and won’t be.

    It is impossible for the creos to prove that their 2 pages of 4,000 year old mythology describes reality. They’ve had 2,000 years and it has been a steady retreat from the light of knowledge. But if they can just beat up, exile, fire, and kill their opponents then it doesn’t matter.

    Posting the list of who is really being beaten up, threatened, fired, attempted to be fired, and killed. Not surprisingly, it is scientists and science supporters by Death Cultists.
    There is a serious reign of terror by Xian fundie terrorists directed against the reality based academic community, specifically acceptors of evolution. I’m keeping a running informal tally, listed below. They include death threats, firings, attempted firings, assaults, and general persecution directed against at least 11 people. The Expelled Liars have totally ignored the ugly truth of just who is persecuting who.

    If anyone has more info add it. Also feel free to borrow or copy the list.

    I thought I’d post all the firings of professors and state officials for teaching or accepting evolution.

    2 professors fired, Bitterman (SW CC Iowa) and Bolyanatz (Wheaton)

    1 persecuted unmercifully Richard Colling (Olivet)

    1 attempted firing Murphy (Fuller Theological by Phillip Johnson IDist)

    1 successful death threats, assaults harrasment Gwen Pearson (UT Permian)

    1 state official fired Chris Comer (Texas)

    1 assault, fired from dept. Chair Paul Mirecki (U. of Kansas)

    1 killed, Rudi Boa, Biomedical Student (Scotland)

    Death Threats Eric Pianka UT Austin and the Texas Academy of Science engineered by an erratic IDist named Bill Dembski

    Death Threats Michael Korn, fugitive from justice, towards the UC Boulder biology department and miscellaneous evolutionary biologists.

    Death Threats Judge Jones Dover, who was put under the protection of Federal Marshalls.

    Up to 11 with little effort. Probably there are more. I turned up a new one with a simple internet search. Haven’t even gotten to the secondary science school teachers.

    And the Liars of Expelled have the nerve to scream persecution. On body counts the creos are way ahead.

  48. #48 raven
    April 12, 2008

    I was upset by the decision not to sue, as well, until I read his explanation, that the film-makers were already giving themselves a bad name and destroying their credibility without Harvard or XVIVO spending a dime. THAT I can understand.

    Harvard is making a mistake here. Reality and the truth always wins in the end. But that can be a long time and a lot can happen. We could end up sitting in the ruins of the American civilization with scientists, Harvard, the NCSE, and XVIVO saying, “I told you so.”

  49. #49 ERV
    April 12, 2008

    XVIVO does not have the resources to do what they want (and we want) to do. The owner has two kids in college and his employees to worry about (and not like he has $50K in the bank to get this started). XVIVO is not Microsoft/Pixar/Disney. The Harvard PIs have their own families/etc to worry about, and Im not just talking money. They are particularly worried about Judge Jones-esque death threats (not everyone is from Oklahoma and is used to living with Creaobots).

    As much as they *want* to nip this in the bud, they cant do anything until the movie is released, and they convince Harvards law team that pursuing this is worth their while ($$). XVIVO is looking into their own legal options.

    If EXPELLED does not remove the animation, they are still in danger of ending up in court.

  50. #50 Pattanowski
    April 12, 2008

    I really think that the right idea for those wishing to see this film is to go to a big multi-plex and pay for a different show. In my experience, once you are in the place, it does not matter which theater you enter.
    Oh, and yesterday I heard Stein on O’Reily saying that “Darwinism doesn’t explain what holds the planets in their orbits or how the universe came to be!”
    Incredible.

  51. #51 sidelined
    April 12, 2008

    It would appear that the people at the Expelled Movie website blog have heard about the lawsuit and have issued a rebuttal thusly,

    “Editor’s Note: Questions have been raised about the origination of some of the animation used in our movie EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed. Claims that we have used any animation in an unauthorized manner are simply false. Premise Media created the animation that illustrates cellular activity used in our film.”

    Now that should make for some rather interesting discussion concerning public declaration in contradiction of the lawsuit. If they are found to have violated copyright this could well be damning.

  52. #52 Crazyharp81602
    April 12, 2008

    I saw the commercial of Expelled last night while watching Fox News. In direct response to this, I’ve posted a real nice collection of blockbuster films well worth going to see.

    To Hell with Expelled!

    I propose an Expelled blog carnival to be made in direct response to this idiot film.

  53. #53 386sx
    April 12, 2008

    This is yet another example of how they skewed the interviews with editing.

    You would think that the Time reviewer would realize that. He thinks that “religion ought to be seen as little more than a soothing pastime, a bit like knitting” is an example of “answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters”?

    Good “stuff of deep thought” review, Time reviewer. Thanks for the “stuff of deep thought”!

  54. #54 rrt
    April 12, 2008

    Thanks for the perspective, ERV…that makes some (galling) sense.

  55. #55 DanioPhD
    April 12, 2008

    Is the NCSE planning on using expelledexposed for a point-by-point refutation? Such a thing should probably exist somewhere, complete with links and siting to support the work. Much like talkorigins is, it would be nice to have a set of facts that runs down the points in the movie, and contrasts them with reality.
    Then any flyers or whatever that are handed out could point to a website with a wealth of information.

    Indeed they are.
    Right now the site consists of links to numerous pre-release reviews, and to coverage of the whole PZ Expelled! debacle. Once the movie is officially released I belive the NCSE plans to do a point-by-point rebuttal-style ‘review’ and add resources, etc. as the story progresses. Seems like a link to the original XVIVO movie would be in order, in light of recent developments.

  56. #56 Benjamin Franklin
    April 12, 2008

    DMS, & others.

    I have put together such a one-pager as you requested, I have been posting it (or trying to) at blogs that promote expelled – here it is, if you can improve it, let me know.

    Expelled begins with a deception. The opening scene of the movie is a fraud. It purports to show Mr. Stein giving a lecture to an adoring crowd of students at Pepperdine University. But the production company for the movie literally bought the audience: there were only 2 or 3 Pepperdine students there, the audience having been created from what is known in movie jargon as “extras.” What a way to start a “documentary”, the purpose of which is to supposedly unmask deceptions and conspiracies.

    It doesn’t get better. The films’ main thesis, that anyone in the science community who believes in God, or is a Darwin dissenter is being “expelled” is false at its core.

    In a New York Times interview, Walter Ruloff (producer of Expelled) said that researchers, who had studied cellular mechanisms, made findings suggestive of an intelligent designer. “But they are afraid to report them”.
    Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”, explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Mr. Ruloff said that Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line”.

    That’s “just ludicrous,” Dr. Collins said in a telephone interview. While many of his scientific colleagues are not religious and some are “a bit puzzled” by his faith, he said, “they are generally very respectful.” He said that if the problem Mr. Ruloff describes existed, he is certain he would know about it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/science/27expelled.html?pagewanted=2

    Similarly, Dr. Ken Miller is a professed Christian who wrote “Finding Darwin’s God” (which I suggest you read). Dr. Miller has not been “expelled” in any fashion for his belief in God.

    The movie tries to make the case that “Big Science” is nothing but a huge atheist conspiracy out to silence believers, but only presents a very one-sided look at some Discovery Institute “martyrs”.

    Carolyn Crocker “expelled”? – No.
    Her annual teaching contract was not renewed. Was she “fired” for daring to bring God into research? – No. She was hired to teach Biology, and she decided to ignore the schools’ curriculum and substitute her own curriculum.

    http://tinyfrog.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/ode-to-caroline-crocker/

    Guillermo Gonzalez “expelled”? – No.
    He was not granted tenure. The film doesn’t bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he had only brought in only a miniscule amount of grant money. Nor does it bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he failed to mentor a single student through to their PhD. Nor does it mention that in his career at ISU, his previous excellent record of publication had dropped precipitously.

    http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/gg2.jpg

    Richard von Sternberg “expelled”? – No.
    Sternberg continued to work for NIH in the same capacity. Of course the movie doesn’t bring up his underhanded tactics in getting Meyers work published.

    http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/other_opps/intern/associates04.html

    This movie attempts to influence it’s viewers with dishonesty, half-truths, and by shamefully implying that all scientists (Darwinists) are atheists, and were a causative factor that could possibly lead to another Holocaust.

    If a scientists’ research is not accepted by the scientific community, it isn’t because the scientist either believes or doesn’t believe in God, it is usually because they are producing bad science.

    Benjamin Franklin

  57. #57 mwb
    April 12, 2008

    > But the point is valid.

    You’re confusing copyright with a trademark.

  58. #58 Sastra
    April 12, 2008

    In fairness to Stein, his opponents have hardly covered themselves in glory. Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism.

    Ah, yes, the obligatory nod of soothing sympathy and sensitive support in the direction of Good People of Faith, and its subsequent scowling scorn directed against those reprobates with none. Frankly, I’m getting a bit tired of this sort of sneering, finger-in-the-eye moderate theism.

    It’s so militant.

  59. #59 Sonja
    April 12, 2008

    TIME’s review couldn’t be any more predictable — they have to pan the film to be seen as credible at all, but include a slam at an atheist to appease their mainstream, religious readership.

  60. #60 Rey Fox
    April 12, 2008

    “It’s so militant.”

    And fundamentalist.

  61. #61 pyramus
    April 12, 2008

    May I take exception to the proposition that religion is a soothing pastime like knitting? Knitting is, or can be, wildly creative, an intricate intersection of the mind and body. Check out the newly published Making Mathematics with Needlework, which contains a pattern for a garment modeled on a section of a pseudosphere.

    Religion is a soothing pastime like twiddling one’s thumbs.

  62. #62 Damian
    April 12, 2008

    Benjamin Franklin:

    That’s excellent. Just one point, though. I have heard in several places that Gonzalez mentored one graduate student who finished their dissertation. I don’t know whether that is true or not.

  63. #63 Rey Fox
    April 12, 2008

    Thieves and liars! Murderers! Hypocrites and bastards!

    (Get up! Get on your feet!)

    One of my favorite righteous anger songs.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG_-rq1ON9Y

  64. #64 Marcus Ranum
    April 12, 2008

    I thought I’d post all the firings of professors and state officials for teaching or accepting evolution.

    The ultimate EXPELLED would be when Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell was offered a position at Columbia University but was EXPELLED because he was an atheist. After he was offered the position, there was a huge outcry, including involvement by the mayor of New York City, judicial malfeasance, and all kinds of other fascinating hijinks. Finally he was EXPELLED on the technicality that he was not a US citizen, but the accusations made against him were amazing – including that he might encourage nudism and promiscuity.

    This is the best reference I’ve found on the story, so far, on the web:
    http://www.skeptic.ca/Russell_&_CUNY.pdf

  65. #65 Marcus Ranum
    April 12, 2008

    How many Nobel Prize-winning biologists have been EXPELLED for creationism? Oh. Right. There aren’t any.

  66. #66 Physicalist
    April 12, 2008

    That’s great, Benjamin Franklin.

  67. #67 Benjamin Franklin
    April 12, 2008

    Damian, noted, and correcting. I will upload revised in a few minutes. I have added to where Mathis talked about “confusing” the movie with Miller, added to the section about Gonzalez, and ordered that first, as he seems to be the lead martyr in the film.

    I still want to puch up the paragraph about the inference of darwinism leading to naziism, as that could be the most vulnerable point in the movie.

    Should I include more about other dishonest actions, like crossroads, expelling PZ, the inner life controversy, etc?

  68. #68 wyatt roberts
    April 12, 2008

    As always, you’re right on this one, PZ. That writer from Time is nothing but an atheist-basher. I can’t believe he actually had the gall to accurately describe what you said in that darn movie. The nerve of some people. Pfh!

  69. #69 Bubba Sixpack
    April 12, 2008

    Poor Ben Stein. He just can’t get no respect.

  70. #70 Bubba Sixpack
    April 12, 2008

    Notice the way the Time reviewer balances out Stein’s accusation that evolution leads to mass murder, with P.Z.’s claim that religion is just a fun pastime and Dawkins failure to properly capitalize “god”. As if Stein’s accusations were morally equivalent to Myers’ and Dawkins’ misdeeds.

  71. #71 alex
    April 12, 2008

    Marcus:
    How many Nobel Prize-winning biologists have been EXPELLED for creationism? Oh. Right. There aren’t any.

    they wuz all EXPELLED before they had the chance!

  72. #72 B. Dias
    April 12, 2008

    As the local typography nerd, I have to point out that the more appropriate way of doing things is to capitalise “god” when one is talking about the Judeo-Christian god specifically (Using “god” as a proper noun in any context – often because “Yahweh” is an exceptionally ugly word), and not capitalise it when one is talking about deities in general. This is in the same vein of capitalising Zeus, for example, or in a Latin text, capitalising Discordia only when you mean the deity and not simply “discord.” It’s not a sign of respect, although some theists will take it as one and capitalise the word “God” in all contexts. To summarise:

    You capitalise “God” in the phrase “I, personally, think that God is the most despicable character in all fiction.”

    But you don’t in the phrase “I, personally, think that the Christian god is the most despicable character in all fiction,” nor in “What kind of a god kills innocent children?”

    A text written by an atheist, talking about religion in general, would have very little occasion to use the first case, though. I’d have to go through the actual text, but I suspect Hitchens simply never wrote any phrase that warranted capitalising “god,” though I might be wrong.

    It is, however, profoundly stupid to try to infer the quality of a text from a minor typographical detail.

  73. #73 razimmermann
    April 12, 2008

    Last night on the Fox News sitcom “Hannity and Colmes”, Sean Hannity gave “Expelled” an almost teary-eyed endorsement after interviewing Ben Stein. The idiocy must be seen to be believed (clip at http://www.foxnews.com/hannityandcolmes). Among the more egregious nuggets to drop from Stein’s mouth: Hitler was a lineal descendant of Darwin; Darwinism provided the rationale for the Holocaust (the idea of exterminating whole races of ‘inferior’ beings); the Grand Canyon, Lake Pend Oreille, Malibu and Manhattan sunsets are evidence for God; there’s no reason to believe that an intelligent designer did not create the universe.

    His parting shot is priceless (for everything else, there’s MasterCard): “People took our God away from use and gave us Darwinism. Darwinism didn’t work. We’d like our God back.”

  74. #74 Benjamin Franklin
    April 12, 2008

    OK – here it is, please comment, vet, kevtch, & post

    PZ – if you like it – howz about putting it on page 1?

    Expelled begins with a deception. The opening scene of the movie is a fraud. It purports to show Mr. Stein giving a lecture to an adoring crowd of students at Pepperdine University. But the production company for the movie literally bought the audience: there were only 2 or 3 actual Pepperdine students there, the audience having been created from what is known in movie jargon as “extras.” What a way to start a “documentary”, the purpose of which is to supposedly unmask deceptions and conspiracies.

    It doesn’t get better. The films’ main thesis, that anyone in the science community who believes in God, or is a Darwin dissenter is being “expelled” is false at its core.

    In a New York Times interview, Walter Ruloff (producer of Expelled) said that researchers, who had studied cellular mechanisms, made findings suggestive of an intelligent designer. “But they are afraid to report them”.
    Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”, explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Mr. Ruloff said that Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line”.

    That’s “just ludicrous,” Dr. Collins said in a telephone interview. While many of his scientific colleagues are not religious and some are “a bit puzzled” by his faith, he said, “they are generally very respectful.” He said that if the problem Mr. Ruloff describes existed, he is certain he would know about it.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/science/27expelled.html?pagewanted=2

    Similarly, Dr. Ken Miller is a Biology professor at Brown University, and a professed Christian who wrote Finding Darwin’s God. Dr. Miller has not been “expelled” in any fashion. When asked why Dr. Miller or any other scientists who feel that evolution doesn’t preclude religious beliefs weren’t in the movie, Mark Mathis (associate producer of Expelled) responded that it “would have confused the film unnecessarily”.

    The movie tries to make the case that “Big Science” is nothing but a huge atheist conspiracy out to silence believers, but only presents a very one-sided look at some Discovery Institute “martyrs”.

    Richard von Sternberg “expelled”? – No.
    Von Sternberg claimed that he was fired. No. He continued to work for NIH in the same capacity. He claims he was kicked out of his office, and his keys were taken away. No. That was a move of all offices by the Smithsonian announced months earlier. He claims that he was ousted as editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. No. His term as editor was up. Of course the movie doesn’t bring up his underhanded tactics regarding the peer review in getting Meyers’ article on ID published in the last issue in which von Sternberg served as editor.
    http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/other_opps/intern/associates04.html

    Carolyn Crocker “expelled”? – No.
    Her annual teaching contract was not renewed. Was she “fired” for daring to bring God into research? – No. She was hired to teach Biology, and she decided to ignore the schools’ curriculum and substitute her own curriculum.
    http://tinyfrog.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/ode-to-caroline-crocker/

    Guillermo Gonzalez “expelled”? – No.
    He was not granted tenure. The film doesn’t bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he had only brought in only a miniscule amount of grant money. Nor does it bring up the fact that he failed to mentor any students through to their PhD at ISU. Nor does it mention that in his career at ISU, his previous excellent record of publication had dropped precipitously.
    http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/gg2.jpg

    This movie attempts to influence viewers with dishonesty, half-truths, and its heavy-handed linkage of modern biology to the Holocaust in an utterly shameful way. John Rennie recently wrote in his review Expelled: No Integrity Displayed – “It demands a response for the sake of simple human decency.”
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=ben-steins-expelled-review-john-rennie

    If a scientists’ research is not accepted by the scientific community, it isn’t because the scientist either believes or doesn’t believe in God, it is usually because they are producing bad science.

  75. #75 Rey Fox
    April 12, 2008

    “People took our God away from use and gave us Darwinism. Darwinism didn’t work. We’d like our God back.”

    I don’t know, Hannity. Your mother and I would love to give it back, but we’re afraid you’ll just misuse it again.

    I’m glad someone finally explained the whole proper noun thing, although it’s always seen like cheating that Christians get to call their god “God”. Nevertheless, as a name, it should be capitalized, just like Sherlock Holmes.

    But did that dastardly Hitchens also not capitalize the pronouns associated with God? Shock and horror!

  76. #76 Benjamin Franklin
    April 12, 2008

    A simple, one page rebuttal to Expelled
    Here it is – PZ, if you like it howz about page one?

    Expelled begins with a deception. The opening scene of the movie is a fraud. It purports to show Mr. Stein giving a lecture to an adoring crowd of students at Pepperdine University. But the production company for the movie literally bought the audience: there were only 2 or 3 actual Pepperdine students there, the audience having been created from what is known in movie jargon as “extras.” What a way to start a “documentary”, the purpose of which is to supposedly unmask deceptions and conspiracies.

    It doesn’t get better. The films’ main thesis, that anyone in the science community who believes in God, or is a Darwin dissenter is being “expelled” is false at its core.

    In a New York Times interview, Walter Ruloff (producer of Expelled) said that researchers, who had studied cellular mechanisms, made findings suggestive of an intelligent designer. “But they are afraid to report them”.
    Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Mr. Ruloff said that Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line”.

    That’s “just ludicrous” Dr. Collins said in a telephone interview. While many of his scientific colleagues are not religious and some are “a bit puzzled” by his faith, he said, “they are generally very respectful.” He said that if the problem Mr. Ruloff describes existed, he is certain he would know about it.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/science/27expelled.html?pagewanted=2

    Similarly, Dr. Ken Miller is a Biology professor at Brown University, and a professed Christian who wrote Finding Darwin’s God. Dr. Miller has not been “expelled” in any fashion. When asked why Dr. Miller or any other scientists who feel that evolution doesn’t preclude religious beliefs weren’t in the movie, Mark Mathis (associate producer of Expelled) responded that it “would have confused the film unnecessarily”.

    The movie tries to make the case that “Big Science” is nothing but a huge atheist conspiracy out to silence believers, but only presents a very one-sided look at some Discovery Institute “martyrs”.

    Richard von Sternberg “expelled”? – No.
    Von Sternberg claimed that he was fired. No. He continued to work for NIH in the same capacity. He claims he was kicked out of his office, and his keys were taken away. No. That was a move of all offices by the Smithsonian announced months earlier. He claims that he was ousted as editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. No. His term as editor was up. Of course the movie doesn’t bring up his underhanded tactics regarding the peer review in getting Meyers’ article on ID published in the last issue in which von Sternberg served as editor.
    http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/other_opps/intern/associates04.html

    Carolyn Crocker “expelled”? – No.
    Her annual teaching contract was not renewed. Was she “fired” for daring to bring God into research? – No. She was hired to teach Biology, and she decided to ignore the schools’ curriculum and substitute her own curriculum.
    http://tinyfrog.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/ode-to-caroline-crocker/

    Guillermo Gonzalez “expelled”? – No.
    He was not granted tenure. The film doesn’t bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he had only brought in only a miniscule amount of grant money. Nor does it bring up the fact that he failed to mentor any students through to their PhD at ISU. Nor does it mention that in his career at ISU, his previous excellent record of publication had dropped precipitously.
    http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/gg2.jpg

    This movie attempts to influence viewers with dishonesty, half-truths, and its heavy-handed linkage of modern biology to the Holocaust in an utterly shameful way. John Rennie recently wrote in his review Expelled: No Integrity Displayed – “It demands a response for the sake of simple human decency.”

    If a scientists’ research is not accepted by the scientific community, it isn’t because the scientist either believes or doesn’t believe in God, it is usually because they are producing bad science.

    For more information – go to expelledexposed.com

  77. #77 MPW
    April 12, 2008

    I’ve gotta say, the couple reviews I’ve seen so far from major national publications have me a little worried. The Time one has been discussed at length above, but the Variety one is far worse (from the pro-science point of view, I mean – it’s somewhat kinder to Expelled.)

    http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117936783.html?categoryid=31&cs=1

    Their reviewer Justin Chang gives a pretty negative notice to the movie as well, but manages to squeeze in approving mentions of several of its creationist talking points, as well as a swipe at Richard Dawkins’s “hateful” atheism, similar to Time’s comment. I submitted a fairly lengthy rebuttal comment, which still seems to be in the moderation queue. It would be great if some other people went over and piled on.

    A review in a publication like Time or Variety will be read by many more uninformed lay Americans than twenty science or skepticism oriented blogs put together. And the Expellists don’t need those reviews to be uniformly positive. Just the repetition of some of their favored memes in a sympathetic fashion is a win. Looks like that might be happening.

  78. #78 MH
    April 12, 2008

    #70: “Hitler was a lineal descendant of Darwin”

    Stein said that???

    Seriously? (sorry, but I can’t bear to watch the H&C video)

  79. #79 razimmermann
    April 12, 2008

    #74: He did indeed. I’m sure he didn’t mean it in the geneological sense (not even Stein could be that stupid) but rather in an ‘intellectual heir’ kind of way.

    The clip is really a cartoonish bit of fun, MH. Have your crew strap you to the mast, bite down hard on a bullet, and grit it out. It only hurts for a few minutes.

  80. #80 Susan B.
    April 12, 2008

    As a knitter, I was going to protest the insulting comparison of religion with knitting, but pyramus beat me to it! Knitting is a craft that can showcase remarkable skill, and it can be a wonderfully creative art form. Is religion any of these things?

  81. #81 James F
    April 12, 2008

    #72 Benjamin Franklin:

    Here’s a quick grammar police cleanup of commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks, plus it’s Sternberg, not von Sternberg. Please add back the bold and paragraph spacing. You might want to post this puppy at the Vanity Fair comments section.

    Expelled begins with a deception. The opening scene of the movie is a fraud. It purports to show Mr. Stein giving a lecture to an adoring crowd of students at Pepperdine University. But the production company for the movie literally bought the audience: there were only 2 or 3 actual Pepperdine students there, the audience having been created from what is known in movie jargon as “extras.” What a way to start a “documentary,” the purpose of which is to supposedly unmask deceptions and conspiracies.??It doesn’t get better. The film’s main thesis, that anyone in the science community who believes in God or is a Darwin dissenter is being “expelled,” is false at its core.
    In a New York Times interview, Walter Ruloff (producer of Expelled) said that researchers who had studied cellular mechanisms made findings suggestive of an intelligent designer, “but they are afraid to report them.”?Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Mr. Ruloff said that Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line.”
    That’s “just ludicrous,” Dr. Collins said in a telephone interview. While many of his scientific colleagues are not religious and some are “a bit puzzled” by his faith, he said, “they are generally very respectful.” He said that if the problem Mr. Ruloff describes existed, he is certain he would know about it. ?http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/science/27expelled.html?pagewanted=2
    Similarly, Dr. Ken Miller is a Biology professor at Brown University, and a professed Christian who wrote Finding Darwin’s God. Dr. Miller has not been “expelled” in any fashion. When asked why Dr. Miller or any other scientists who feel that evolution doesn’t preclude religious beliefs weren’t in the movie, Mark Mathis (associate producer of Expelled) responded that it “would have confused the film unnecessarily.”
    The movie tries to make the case that “Big Science” is nothing but a huge atheist conspiracy out to silence believers, but only presents a very one-sided look at some Discovery Institute “martyrs.”
    Richard Sternberg “expelled?” No.?Sternberg claimed that he was fired. No. He continued to work for NIH in the same capacity. He claims he was kicked out of his office, and his keys were taken away. No. That was a move of all offices by the Smithsonian announced months earlier. He claims that he was ousted as editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. No. His term as editor was up. Of course the movie doesn’t bring up his underhanded tactics regarding the peer review in getting Meyer’s article on ID published in the last issue in which Sternberg served as editor.?http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/other_opps/intern/associates04.html
    Carolyn Crocker “expelled?” No.?Her annual teaching contract was not renewed. Was she “fired” for daring to bring God into research? No. She was hired to teach biology, and she decided to ignore the school’s curriculum and substitute her own curriculum.?http://tinyfrog.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/ode-to-caroline-crocker/
    Guillermo Gonzalez “expelled?” No.?He was not granted tenure. The film doesn’t bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he had only brought in only a miniscule amount of grant money. Nor does it bring up the fact that he failed to mentor any students through to their Ph.D. at ISU. Nor does it mention that in his career at ISU, his previous excellent record of publication had dropped precipitously.?http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/gg2.jpg
    This movie attempts to influence viewers with dishonesty, half-truths, and its heavy-handed linkage of modern biology to the Holocaust in an utterly shameful way. John Rennie recently wrote in his review Expelled: No Integrity Displayed, “It demands a response for the sake of simple human decency.”
    If a scientist’s research is not accepted by the scientific community, it isn’t because the scientist either believes or doesn’t believe in God, it is usually because they are producing bad science.
    For more information – go to expelledexposed.com

  82. #82 Benjamin Franklin
    April 12, 2008

    James, thanks for the input, but on Sternberg, are you sure? The NMNH site I link to lists him in the researcher directory as Von Sternberg.

  83. #83 MPW
    April 12, 2008

    As a knitter, I was going to protest the insulting comparison of religion with knitting, but pyramus beat me to it! Knitting is a craft that can showcase remarkable skill, and it can be a wonderfully creative art form. Is religion any of these things?

    C’mon, let’s not turn into cartoon atheists here. We all know perfectly well that religion has inspired, and been an integral part of, countless great works of art over the millennia, including some of my favorite architecture, painting, sculpture, poetry and especially music. I know from previous threads that that’s true for plenty of other non-believers here.

  84. #84 James F
    April 12, 2008

    #78

    My bad – Full name is Richard M. von Sternberg. CV here: http://www.rsternberg.net/CV.htm

    Peer review, that’s what it’s all about!

  85. #85 Benjamin Franklin
    April 12, 2008

    James,

    No prob. But I refuse to write his name with Ph.D., Ph.D.

    How pompous can you get?

    But tell me more about Vanity Fair comments. Is it a part of scienceblogs that I’m not familiar with? Or are you talking Vanity Fair magazine? I’m not sure how great it would go next to the slideshow of Madonna – dressed and undressed through the years.

    On the other hand I will be sending it to NCES, they may want to include it on the expelledexposed site.

    I’m no Matzke, but it is not bad.

  86. #86 James F
    April 12, 2008

    #81

    Benjamin,
    It’s a review, one of those linked at expelledexposed.com. You can post comments.

  87. #87 James F
    April 12, 2008

    #81

    One more thing – I think one of the most damning things about the movie comes right off its web site:

    “Many scenes are centered around the Berlin Wall, and Ben Stein being Jewish actually visits many death camps and death showers. In fact, Nazi Germany is the thread that ties everything in the movie together. Evolution leads to atheism leads to eugenics leads to Holocaust and Nazi Germany.”

    Disgusting.

  88. #88 dmso74
    April 12, 2008

    Nice work Benjamin Franklin et al.

    I would just add the following lines somewhere:

    Intelligent Design is not science. It is a political movement and is in fact anti-science. Intelligent Design can not be scientifically tested and as a result has not made, and can not make, any contributions to scientific progress or understanding. For more info, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District

    Also, maybe something like:

    The “cell” animation in the video showcasing the complexity of a single cell is largely a plagiarized knock-off (comparable to a $20 Louis Vuitton handbag) of the Harvard University video “Inner Life of a Cell.” The producers of the movie have been sent a cease-and-desist order by the producers of the Harvard video but have chosen to ignore it. See the original video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxSLw1LMvgk and the cease-and-desist order at http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2008/US/301_expelled_producers_accused_of__4_9_2008.asp

  89. #89 James F
    April 12, 2008

    #81 Again, my bad… Variety is what I meant. I tend to peruse egghead periodicals like Science, Nature, and Cell and can’t keep the more popular stuff straight.

  90. #90 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    April 12, 2008

    Benjamin Franklin,

    You might want to include a link to the “Wedge Document” and a
    telling quote from it (redefining science, creating a theocracy, etc.) in the context of the political motive behind ID (and expelled for that matter). You might also want to include a sentence or two explaining why you think it is necessary to repudiate slander and calumny.

    Good work!

  91. #91 Benjamin Franklin
    April 12, 2008

    Krubozumo-

    Columny, wow, that was a new one on me.

    I looked it up in the dictionary and it said – producers of Expelled.

    Thanks
    BF

  92. #92 Bubba Sixpack
    April 12, 2008

    Discovery Science Channel is advertising for this hateful propaganda piece. Please tell them what you think of their promotion of this.

  93. #93 deerjackal
    April 13, 2008

    Discovery Science Channel is advertising for this hateful propaganda piece. Please tell them what you think of their promotion of this.

    To add to this, it’s also been on Discovery ID and The History Channel. I’ve never seen anything drastically objectionable (program-wise) on the Science Channel spinoff, but the main Discovery and History have had a good chunk of pseudoscientific nonsense in their programming history. Nevertheless, a letter they get.

    The good news is that I’ve had National Geographic on as background noise all weekend and haven’t seen the damned thing once.

  94. #94 Jonathon
    April 14, 2008

    “Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism.”

    Could this be because scientists and laypeople like myself are SICK AND TIRED of dealing with the inane arguments of creationists?

    Look, if someone were to come around over and over and over again telling you that the Earth is flat, that there is a conspiracy to keep flat-earthers out of science journals, universities, etc. and every time you try to assure them that the Earth is indeed a sphere and orbits around our Sun – and provide them with reams and reams of evidence that disproves their therory – they accuse you of being a Nazi, wouldn’t you get tired of it too?

    As much as creationists would like it to be true, this isn’t an argument of religion vs. atheism. This is an argument of science vs. unfounded belief. Darwinism does not equate to atheism. Darwinism does not directly address the origin of life. Those who believe that it is atheism are very, very confused.

  95. #95 wazza
    April 14, 2008

    While “Darwinism” is not atheism, atheism is, by necessity, “Darwinism”. An explanation of how we got here without reference to a god is, to borrow a phrase, a necessary but not sufficient condition for atheism.

  96. #96 sidelined
    April 14, 2008

    Wazza writes

    While “Darwinism” is not atheism, atheism is, by necessity, “Darwinism”.

    I would dearly love to hear you tell us what “Darwinism” is in your view wazza.

  97. #97 nerol
    April 20, 2008

    I can’t tell whether the anger in all this is supported by your Ideology or the other way around.I have studied “Darwinism”, and the beloved touted “Evolution Hypothesis”. I can certainly see where you would defend either from whence you come. However there those who have a different opinion and or “Theory”.I have heard{read}99 44/100s % hatred in this forum. I am totally against theft of others work, and regardless of what Stein and crew have done , his tactics and routine do not reflect thoughts and beliefs of All those who support ID. And after all…..Is this a country where all are free to tout and defend what they believe?? If not we must be in Soviet Russia!!?? You should be more concerned about the Scum in office in DC that are stripping you of your Rights and replacing them with a “Privilege System”.Or maybe {by way of example} : the CPS vermin that steal and kill our children(been there, done that) and or sell them to the highest bidder is a better way of life for us and should be ignored or superseded by those who would silence Anyone that varies in opinion from them??Who is lying to you[us].So what really matters to you???

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