Pharyngula

We have a confession! It was made by Michael Edmondson, and it was produced by the people behind Expelled. He wrote to me, and says, “The intent of the video has been questioned a lot…I suppose the answer is that I tried to make something that was funny to me and It’s not really meant to convince anyone of anything.” That’s how I felt about it: it’s amusing, and that’s all that matters — it’s vague enough that it can be read any way you want.

Edmondson has also made a brief sequel.

Note that Stein is wearing a t-shirt that says “Poe’s Law”.

Comments

  1. #1 Carlie
    April 21, 2008

    Nice. Expelled producers get pwned yet again.

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    April 21, 2008

    Tee hee! He said “Assprod“!

  3. #3 Sigmund
    April 21, 2008

    If the whole film was done in the same style it might even be worth paying to see. As it is I’m waiting for it to appear online – and even thats going pretty slow compared to almost every other release. I guess when 90% of your audience are Ned Flander clones you are less likely to have someone trying to pirate the thing.

  4. #4 Ken Cope
    April 21, 2008

    Nice flip of the finger in the credits to “assprod” Mathis. I’ll presume this was released after the check cleared, although I doubt Edmonson’s clients would get the jokes even if they were explained to them.

  5. #5 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 21, 2008

    Like I said from the get go, funny is funny. This makes it even better.

  6. #6 James F
    April 21, 2008

    Well, this is the single best thing anyone affiliated with ID crowd has ever produced, and that includes all of the non-peer reviewed “scientific literature” put out by the DI. I salute Mr. Edmondson.

    It makes me think that Edmondson just likes being contrary and challenging authority, sort of in the David Berlinski mode. Now if they’d realize the true damage they’re doing and stick to comedy….

  7. #7 Etha Williams
    April 21, 2008

    Wait.

    Seriously?

    Poe’s Law, indeed….

  8. #8 MH
    April 21, 2008

    LOL, I like Michael Edmondson’s style. If we had a whip-round, do you think he’d do us a Farty Dembski animation? ;-)

    Does he have a site?

  9. #9 Anonymous Coward
    April 21, 2008

    Sigmund:

    “As it is I’m waiting for it to appear online”

    Be careful–I spent a couple of hours yesterday downloading something that claimed to be a cam capture of Expelled, and it ended up being the preview over and over again.

  10. #10 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 21, 2008

    ERV (blog crush) covered Mike some as well.

  11. #11 NP
    April 21, 2008

    Well, he had to come out of the woodwork sometime. This video is just too brilliant to leave of his CV!

    To be fair, Edmondson was outed in this post on ERV’s blog and in the subsequent comments.

  12. #12 Steven
    April 21, 2008

    “Dick Dawkins” cracks me up!

  13. #13 Dan
    April 21, 2008

    I’m beginning to wonder whether or not the original intent of the Expelled film was, in fact, to shine a light on the utter stupidity of ID and the tactics of its proponents.

  14. #14 Colugo
    April 21, 2008

    So it was straight satire instead of meta-satire. I’m reminded of a couple of other things of unclear intent.

    The ‘It’s Raining McCain’ video: For weeks it was unknown whether it was a sincere (though humorous) endorsement of McCain or a joke. It was a joke.

    Right wing cartoonist ‘Kelly,’ whose work is regularly featured in The Onion, is actually a parody of conservative cartoonists created by Ward Sutton. The Onion has gotten emails demanding Kelly be fired because of his reactionary views.

  15. #15 MicroZealous
    April 21, 2008

    Regardless of the motivations of the creators, “Beware the Believers” is analogous to many Holy Texts, in that the ambiguity allows people of opposite worldviews to see validation for their own outlook. Fortunately, the video diverges from typical sacred writings, and exhibits humor, irony, originality and relevance to current life. If the authors intended to create an artifact that people may perceive in opposite ways, then they have succeeded – as a rationalist I see nothing but support for reason and science. The image of arrogant scientists crushing freedom of speech is a patina that rubs through very quickly. It seems like an ironic mirror of the persecution complex so dear to people of faith. Also, I have a new interest in hip-hop music.

  16. #16 Copache
    April 21, 2008

    http://copache.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/a-fundamental-problem/

    That is all. Worth a read based out of all those making fun of this movie, not realizing how much of a problem it could actually be.

  17. #17 Monsignor Henry Clay
    April 21, 2008

    If anybody is reading The Onion and taking it seriously I would like to find them so that I may brain them.

  18. #18 Etha Williams
    April 21, 2008

    @#14 Colugo:

    Raining McCain was a joke? Really? Awww…I was kind of hoping it was serious. That would have been so much funnier….

  19. #19 raven
    April 21, 2008

    A better question is who made the XVIVO knockoff copy? This is a violation of the Digital Millennium copyright act and legal letters have been flying.

    Violations of the DMCA can result in both civil and criminal penalties. Someone might go to jail for that.

  20. #20 Bob L
    April 21, 2008

    Dan “I’m beginning to wonder whether or not the original intent of the Expelled film was, in fact, to shine a light on the utter stupidity of ID and the tactics of its proponents.”

    You’re not the only one. I said it before Mr Establishment himself Ben Stien as a rebel against The Man?

  21. #21 Quidam
    April 21, 2008

    Acutually it’s not who MADE the copy – it’s who published it for use in, or for promoting a commercial product.

    But congrats to Edmondson, that was a great clip – it was indeed able to be iunterpreted in many ways – and I think it was an excellent parody of the eXpelled theme. That the eXpelled team PAID for it is icing.

    I’ve said it before, but if that had talent like that available, why didn’t they use Michael Edmondson to produce the movie*. It would have been a lot more entertaining.

    *I think I know the reason, he’s intelligent and has some integrity which disqualifies him.

  22. #22 RamblinDude
    April 21, 2008

    “I’m beginning to wonder whether or not the original intent of the Expelled film was, in fact, to shine a light on the utter stupidity of ID and the tactics of its proponents.”

    Yes, now if Ben Stein would only launch the second part of his most elegant and brilliant plan to promote science literacy…

  23. #23 Biochemist
    April 21, 2008

    Song sure is catchy, I’d buy it. When’s the single gonna be released?

  24. #24 PLuS
    April 21, 2008

    Something you’re all missing here is that Edmondson is as much a part of the Expelled team as Nathan Frankowski. Do you think he acted independently? The project was overseen by the Premise producers. He didn’t punk Premise at all. They obviously approved every stage of this video’s development. So if you’re going to give credit to Edmondson (and don’t forget Matt Chandler, the writer), you’ll have to give credit to the producers of Expelled as well.

  25. #25 Sven
    April 21, 2008

    There’s a subliminal message at 27 seconds, the line “in vino veritas” appears in the lower left corner first, and a few frames later in the center of the screen.

  26. #26 Ted Powell
    April 21, 2008

    This is off topic, but you do need to see today’s Cectic: Aspirin Versus Prayer
    http://cectic.com/138.html

  27. #27 Spinoza
    April 21, 2008

    I still don’t get it.

  28. #28 Aaron Golas
    April 21, 2008

    That’s “in vitro veritas,” Sven, but nice catch!

  29. #29 Sven
    April 21, 2008

    “That’s “in vitro veritas,” Sven, but nice catch!”

    I stand corrected :)

  30. #30 HumanisticJones
    April 21, 2008

    So wait… the team behind Expelled made what is singularly the best meta-satire of ID/Creationism ever… while intending it to be straight satire of “Big Science”. If there was ever proof that Intelligent Design is bogus this is it. They couldn’t even intelligently design a decent dis-track without it evolving into one of the online atheist community’s favorite songs.

  31. #31 jim
    April 21, 2008

    I still think it’s the best thing ever.

    You see, the Expelled! *jazz hands* folks made one fatal mistake–they hired somebody with actual talent, who came up with an hilarious parody of the whole mess rather than the nasty propaganda piece they were no doubt expecting. Since they clearly lack the critical faculties to tell the difference, I can only imagine their horror when the pro-science side reacted by pissing their pants with *laughter* and not fear…

  32. #32 Inoculated Mind
    April 21, 2008

    Brilliant. Watch Premise media try to sue Float on films now for their “security breach” now!

  33. #33 Fire Ant
    April 21, 2008

    By the way, here’s an update on their opening weekend from Rotten Tomatoes, where they were the ninth highest grossing film:

    “$3.2M total, averaging $2,997 from 1,052 locations. Expelled was the only film in the top ten to see Saturday sales drop from Friday so a long life in theaters is not likely.”

  34. #34 Fire Ant
    April 21, 2008

    …ninth highest grossing film of the weekend….

  35. #35 Colugo
    April 21, 2008

    In a way, Expelled is the farcical sequel to Dover, with the Framing Wars and New Atheism as side plots. The whole saga would make for a great book, or at least a five minute humorous YouTube short.

    It’s interesting that the Framing Wars were concluded with the majority siding with Dawkins-Myers in the wake of the ‘Expelled expulsion’ and Nisbet, Mooney and Olson increasingly isolated with their dire warnings about the persuasive power of creationists and the ineptness of atheists. Meanwhile, the Dawkins majority mastered ‘framing’ through humor; namely, the excellent Sexpelled parody.

    I’ve defended Mooney against the attacks against his motivations. But Mooney aside, it looks like the creationists fell on their ass again.

    Rest assured that the creationists will re-emerge; perhaps with creationism/ID re-branded as “front loaded potentiality” or some such thing and a strategy of infiltrating and establishing bases in philosophy and sociology departments in order to get around the establishment claus.

  36. #36 Dale Austin
    April 21, 2008

    Quidam:
    “Acutually it’s not who MADE the copy – it’s who published it for use in, or for promoting a commercial product”

    Maybe for the civil liability-though I doubt it. But for the criminal, he’s on the hook-so is everybody else involved. Otherwise, hit men would go free and only their bosses go to jail (or vice-versa depending on what concept of accountability you want to use). The Nuremberg Defense doesn’t hold water. The animators best chance is to roll over on his client.

  37. #37 Muz
    April 21, 2008

    Some more specific credits would be interesting; like who wrote it (it’s pretty witty stuff, loaded with references) and does Mr Edmondson …er perform his own choreography?

  38. #38 Sili
    April 21, 2008

    I don’t mind in the least giving credit to the producers of Expelled *jazzhands* for finding and funding such a talented young man.

    Even the blind hen may find a grain from time to time.

    Kudos to mr. Edmondson.

  39. #39 Carlie
    April 21, 2008

    He didn’t punk Premise at all. They obviously approved every stage of this video’s development.

    Which makes it even more hilarious, because they didn’t realize that they were being made fun of. Look up Poe’s Law and ponder why it would be emblazoned on the shirt of Ben Stein in Edmonson’s follow-up.

  40. #40 The Droids You Were Looking For
    April 21, 2008

    The updated ‘more info’ section of the original clip hosted by RandomSlice may answer a few of those questions Muz…

  41. #41 Mindcore
    April 21, 2008

    I fucking knew it!
    I knew it, I knew it! Scott if your reading this, “I TOLD YOU SO!”

    This video was made by creationists!

    And why am I gloating, because this video supports the point that we are way behind in the communication war!

    I disagree with Nisbet, that New Atheism is hurting science, in fact I think that it is actually popularizing science.

    I never heard about science so much in the marketplace as now that its actually perceived as dangerous and rebellious.

    But the time has come for our side to make good, wonderful, and even edgy art to promote science.

    Carl Sagan died, it sucks, he aint comming back like some messiah.

    Its up to us now!

    Kudos to PZ for being a spearhead in this movement and doing much to mobilize us all.

  42. #42 Copernic
    April 21, 2008

    “There’s a subliminal message at 27 seconds, the line “in vino veritas” appears in the lower left corner first, and a few frames later in the center of the screen.”

    “in vitro veritas” – “in glass lies the truth” – ‘in glass lies the truth’ or ‘the proof is in the pudding’

    What do you suppose this means?

    There’s also something near the top at 28 seconds. Very small, couldn’t read it.

  43. #43 Castaa
    April 21, 2008

    I give them credit for poking fun at all sides and making an entertaining song and video.

    Are creationists trying to build bridges to to the scientific world!? ;)

  44. #44 Michael Edmondson
    April 21, 2008

    Yes, I did perform all the character dancing… My wife says she throws up in her mouth a little every time she sees me as Eugenie Scott.

    These are the credits (below) for the Beware The Believers video (that now appear in the description of the video on youtube). I think Matt Chandler deserves a lot of credit for having written the lyrics to the song and the guys who created/ recorded the song.

    Created (and Danced) by
    Michael Edmondson (Float On Films)

    Lyrics and Dialogue
    Matt Chandler

    Music
    A Twits Production (featuring Chip Kendall & DJ Optix)

    Produced by
    John Sullivan, Walt Ruloff & Logan Craft

    Additional Photoshop Work
    Ephraim Risho

  45. #45 Ian
    April 21, 2008

    For myself, this has provided me with a valuable glimpse into my own psychology. I knew that Premise most likely produced the video as a viral to market Expelled — who else would have made the video and not taken credit — but the quality of the satire, as compared to the movie itself, was such that I just couldn’t accept that. I was utterly convinced that the video had to be independent.

    When you think about it, that attitude shares a lot in common with many of the IDiots. I knew the evidence about the video’s origin, but I refused to believe.

    I still love the video, regardless of who produced it.

  46. #46 Ian
    April 21, 2008

    Copernic @42,

    Read it again. “In vino veritas”, not “in vitro”. “Truth in wine”.

  47. #47 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 21, 2008

    That folks was the sound of hundreds of blog commenters trying to find the edit button to erase their

    Dam Eugenie is hot!!

    comments.

  48. #48 has
    April 21, 2008

    Something you’re all missing here is that Edmondson is as much a part of the Expelled team as Nathan Frankowski.

    Uh, thirty-seconds Googling finds out that Edmonson runs a one-man business doing animation work for various clients, which rather suggests he is not “part of the Expelled team” as you say but a third-party operator contracted to do some work for them.

    Do you think he acted independently? The project was overseen by the Premise producers. He didn’t punk Premise at all. They obviously approved every stage of this video’s development.

    Uh, do you know how independent contractors operate? They receive a brief from the client, produce work that meets that brief, and scoot to the bank to cash the cheque as soon as the client signs off on it, thankyewverymuch.

    Depending on how detailed the brief is, you can often get quite creative while still satisfying the client’s requirements. And as for Premise approving the result… well, IDers aren’t exactly notorious for being the sharpest knives in the drawer.

    In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the biggest challenge was persuading this particular client that, no, additional fart sounds would not make it even more amusing.

  49. #49 Ian
    April 21, 2008

    Oops, never mind me. I missed the correction at #28.

  50. #50 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 21, 2008

    speaking of edit buttons

    damn…

  51. #51 JRQ
    April 21, 2008

    Understand, this video really is just as funny to the expelled producers as it is to us: We like the clever references and the wit; they like the silly dancing atheists in funny costumes.

    Its a win all around.

    Congrats, Michael

  52. #52 Sven
    April 21, 2008

    After thinking it over my guess is that “in vitro veritas” means “the truth is in the test tube” ;)

  53. #53 Ichthyic
    April 21, 2008

    This video was made by creationists!

    fuck, you’re an idiot.

    NO IT WASN’T.

    It was PAID for by Premise Studios.

    It wasn’t MADE by them.

    as to the rest of your post, you really don’t understand satire, do you?

  54. #54 SMgr
    April 21, 2008

    Poe’s law? Wouldn’t Godwin’s law have been more appropriate? =) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law

  55. #55 Pierce R. Butler
    April 21, 2008

    Just put wine in the test tube, and both interpretations will be correct.

  56. #56 Sven
    April 21, 2008

    I made a little reply video, I wonder if randomslice accepts it as a reply video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SRB7BpfoM0

  57. #57 Physicalist
    April 21, 2008

    Nice work Michael Edmondson. I still think it’s great.

    I can’t help thinking that the Expelled producers slipped on the soap of their own slippery slope commissioning this.

    Question: Are the faces in the audience at 18 seconds in anyone in particular, or just random people?

  58. #58 Deepsix
    April 21, 2008

    @ #44:
    Thanks for posting the info, Michael.

  59. #59 foldedpath
    April 21, 2008

    #48: Depending on how detailed the brief is, you can often get quite creative while still satisfying the client’s requirements.

    Exactly. I worked in advertising photography and graphic design as an independent contractor. Every job that comes over the transom is an opportunity for a portfolio piece, if you can get away with it.

    And as for Premise approving the result… well, IDers aren’t exactly notorious for being the sharpest knives in the drawer.

    Bingo.

  60. #60 student_b
    April 21, 2008

    Yeah, the video is funny and intelligent. Now if Expelled had been made by Michael also, it could have been a box office success..
    ;)

  61. #61 Muz
    April 21, 2008

    Droids @#40 ah, so it does. Cheers (was bandwidth capped earlier. avoiding youtube links)

    Michael Edmondson @ #44

    Yes, I did perform all the character dancing… My wife says she throws up in her mouth a little every time she sees me as Eugenie Scott.

    Oh she’s not the only one. ;) It’s the navel bit that really….
    Anywho, quality production all ’round

  62. #62 Quidam
    April 21, 2008

    Read it again. “In vino veritas”, not “in vitro”. “Truth in wine”.
    ——————————-
    Nope, when you look closely
    http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/9840/invitrohe0.jpg
    it’s “In vitro veritas”
    Dunno why. It’s either some feindishly clever and significant in-joke, or a mistake.

  63. #63 Adrienne
    April 21, 2008

    Brilliant work, Mr. Edmonson. As one commenter already mentioned, you scored a true coup: you managed to entertain many people on both sides of a very contentious issue.

  64. #64 student_b
    April 21, 2008

    In vitro veritas

    It’s imho (as someone said above) a clever joke.

    Vitro as meant as test tube. So truth in test tube. You can interpret it either as pro ID (vitro as in artificial insemination, ie. creationism/ID) or pro science, as test tubes are usually used in science.

    Either way, it’s miles above the level of your usual creationist, so I conclude, Michael Edmondson is a stealth Evilutionist. ;)

  65. #65 JRQ
    April 21, 2008

    Hey, the guy sitting next to Ben Stein is “Little Tool” in the first video, isn’t he?

  66. #66 Adrienne
    April 21, 2008

    @#51:

    Understand, this video really is just as funny to the expelled producers as it is to us: We like the clever references and the wit; they like the silly dancing atheists in funny costumes.

    Yeah, I’m guessing they REALLY liked the gangsta Hitchens smoking a cigarette with an “I love booze” headband.

  67. #67 Screechy Monkey
    April 21, 2008

    Understand, this video really is just as funny to the expelled producers as it is to us: We like the clever references and the wit; they like the silly dancing atheists in funny costumes.

    Its a win all around.

    I agree completely. To the creationists, the video shows atheists/scientists as preening and arrogant; to us, it shows them as clever, smooth, and oh-so-stylish, which is a nice change from the “stuffy and nerdy” stereotype.

  68. #68 Lenora
    April 21, 2008

    Michael, my two kids watched “Beware the Believers” three times in a row. You’re very talented!

  69. #69 Graham
    April 21, 2008

    I knew it was funded by the people from Expelled. It was so hard to figure out what it promoted and so professionally produced it was the only scenario that fit…and anonymously? Yeah right… I still loved it all the same. Stuck in my head for days…

  70. #70 Mark
    April 21, 2008

    How is “in vitro veritas” an in joke? “In life there is truth”=study biology and the truth about this “controversy” will be apparent.

  71. #71 Don
    April 21, 2008

    @#33

    So is Expelled still edging ahead of Zombie Strippers?

  72. #72 Adrienne
    April 21, 2008

    Well, hey, I’m on the pro-science/evolution side, and even *I* liked the silly dancing atheists in funny costumes.

  73. #73 Ichthyic
    April 21, 2008

    “in vitro veritas”

    Being a behavioral ecologist, I’ve always prefered:

    in situ veritas

    myself.
    ;)

  74. #74 Colugo
    April 21, 2008

    I should have written that Beware The Believers was commissioned as straight satire but created (and best appreciated) as meta-satire.

    A follow-up animated gif on the unfunny creationist ‘Brites’ parody site gloatingly reference BTB. They probably won’t admit that they’ve been punk’d.

  75. #75 Quidam
    April 21, 2008

    “In life there is truth” would be “in vivo veritas”

    But perhaps we are over analysing it. I suspect that ig Mike included a clip saying “Darwin Sucks” we’d be here saying things like “Aha – this is obviously a clever allusion to Darwin sucking at the teat of knowledge. Clearly he’s saying stay in school and learn Biology”

  76. #76 Sven
    April 21, 2008

    Copernic@42 said “There’s also something near the top at 28 seconds. Very small, couldn’t read it”.

    It says the same thing, in vitro veritas.

  77. #77 blf
    April 21, 2008

    Congratulations to Mr Edmondson and the rest of the team for a most excellent clip.

  78. #78 Cheezits
    April 21, 2008

    Yes, I did perform all the character dancing… My wife says she throws up in her mouth a little every time she sees me as Eugenie Scott.

    *ROFL ROFL ROFL*

    Thanks for clearing up the mystery.

    I gave it five stars. :-D

  79. #79 Tulse
    April 21, 2008

    How is “in vitro veritas” an in joke? “In life there is truth”=study biology and the truth about this “controversy” will be apparent.

    That’s a nice sentiment, but “vitro” means “glass” — you may be thinking of “vita” or “vivo”, both which mean (essentially) “life”. “In vitro” means “in glass”, and described biological/medical procedures that are done in a test tube rather than “in vivo” or “in the organism”. So “in vitro fertilization” is done in glassware rather than the good old-fashioned way.

  80. #80 llanitedave
    April 21, 2008

    I’d say, considering that the video was funnier, smarter, more insightful, and more entertaining than the movie, that *we* got *their* money’s worth for it!

  81. #81 CalGeorge
    April 21, 2008

    “…and it was produced by the people behind Expelled…”

    The Expelled crew managed to undermine the cause in spite of themselves.

    Typical.

  82. #82 JCE
    April 21, 2008

    Tempting as it is to ascribe motive to all the twists this plot has taken (if this was a movie I would be buying a ticket since I love it when the director messes with my head while dropping clues), I am inclined to buy into the “confession”. If I am reading this right – and it is hard to while laughing so hard, one option is that this clever and entertaining video, source of much merriment and debate, full of unintentional (??) insight and fashionable headgear was paid for by the Expelled team? Came out of their budget? Cost money that would otherwise have been spent doing evil? :P

    Well if so then, wheee! I didn’t even have to pay to see it! And it’s *still* entertaining and wickedly satirical. If it was intended by its backers as a put-down of the evil scientific methodists, then I am not sure that its creators got (or paid attention to) the memo. If that was the intent, it calls to mind the events of April 30, 1986 and June 6, 2007.

    On the other hand, if the “confession” is truthful and the animator and friends did this on the side (?) with the only intent being to make something funny (I thought at the time it was a clever and well-researched April Fool’s joke and am not yet convinced that it was anything else) then it worked for me. I am both entertained and convinced that it is possible to work on Expelled and retain both sly wit and style (though how they retained their lunches is a mystery).

    How likely is it that the powers-that-be behind Expelled should have developed both a sense of humour and enough wit (and do enough research!)to make the video but not enough to realize that it could backfire on them, if only by showing that they themselves don’t believe the tripe that they are peddling? These towering intellects, known for their skills at debate, their subtle yet persuasive arguments and their capacity for gentle humour and self-mockery?

    Sometimes is difficult for clever people to forget that not everyone is clever, that not everyone is capable of subtlety and, unfortunately, that not every audience can be reached through moderation and an appeal to reason. A great pity, for if the makers of Expelled were reasonable and clever, there might be hopes of reaching them, assuming that they aren’t just cynics out to make a fast buck by appealing to the preconceived notions of their target audience. Hmmm. ><

    In the meantime:
    Dick to the DAWK and cephalopod hats!

    (?? unintentional by whom, hmm. Mr. Edmondson, I salute you, you twisty left-coast creature)

  83. #83 Mark
    April 21, 2008

    #79 You’re right, I should have known that, but got confused somehow. Probably because it made so much sense that way. It wouldn’t surprise me if the guys who made the video made the same error, and intended to say what I heard.

  84. #84 Thomas S. Howard
    April 21, 2008

    Well, I was right about Mr. Edmondson, though wrong about the clip’s ultimate provenance. Still rules the fucking roost, in any case. I have to wonder, though, what the hell the Expelled guys were thinking. You commission an epically hilarious video and never take the step of explicitly linking it to your movie. Wait, nevermind. Totally consistent with every other gratuitous display of incompetent jackassery these guys have made in their brilliant marketing campaign.

    Oh, and for the few of you playing up the notion that Mr. Edmondson is “one of the Expelled people”, let it be noted that when the plagiarism issue came up, he had himself removed from the credits. BTW, Mike, besides helping to create one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, you’re a pretty damn good photographer to boot.

    So the moral is: Mike may not have a science degree, but he’s a damn sight smarter than the rest of the Expelled crew.
    Anyone who hires him in the future will almost certainly get their money’s worth if they actually make some real use of his work.

  85. #85 Thomas S. Howard
    April 21, 2008

    Oh, one quick addition: “Edmondson, you magnificent bastard!!!”

  86. #86 Michael Edmondson
    April 21, 2008

    #57 The audience members are all random people.

  87. #87 Ian
    April 21, 2008

    Well if so then, wheee! I didn’t even have to pay to see it! And it’s *still* entertaining and wickedly satirical. If it was intended by its backers as a put-down of the evil scientific methodists, then I am not sure that its creators got (or paid attention to) the memo. If that was the intent, it calls to mind the events of April 30, 1986 and June 6, 2007.

    Please forgive my forgetfulness, but I have no idea of what events you’re referring to.

  88. #88 Ichthyic
    April 21, 2008

    That’s a nice sentiment, but “vitro” means “glass”

    exactly, but you get the usage slightly wrong. The application of the term “in vitro” applies best to the translation:

    In the glass

    which is always applied to the idea that if an experiment is done “in vitro” it means it was done in a lab (or even literally in a test tube), or excised from the normal environment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro

    the counter is “in situ” with the essential usage applying to “in the field”, meaning that as applied to an experiment, it is done with the subject in it’s “natural” environment.

  89. #89 Ichthyic
    April 21, 2008

    it’s its

    I hate that fucking rule.

    :p

  90. #90 Ichthyic
    April 21, 2008

    eh, nevermind, I see you really got that anyway

    still, I rather think that it could entirely be the joke itself:

    taking a poke at the idea that scientists think all of life is testable in a test tube.

    again, it fits right with Edmonson’s style of satirizing the very absurd notions that are promulgated by the creationists themselves.

  91. #91 susanbrown
    April 21, 2008

    @Sigmund — regarding I guess when 90% of your audience are Ned Flander clones you are less likely to have someone trying to pirate the thing.

    Perhaps not — I have a friend whose family owned a bookstore in the bible belt of TX (which could be just about anywhere in the entire state) and their #1 most shoplifted book was the bible! Go figure.

    And has everyone seen “Sexpelled”? — you can find it on richarddawkins.net or youtube.

  92. #92 Curt Cameron
    April 21, 2008

    It was paid for by the Expelled team? Seems like every time they score, it’s an “own goal.”

  93. #93 Tulse
    April 21, 2008

    Interesting, Ichthyic — I’ve always heard “in vitro” contrasted with “in vivo”, contrasting a lab preparation with a procedure or study done directly in/on the organism (e.g., a drug tested on cultured cells versus the living organism). I’ve never heard the “in situ” usage before, but then again, I’m not directly in the discipline.

    (And upon looking it up in that most-reliable of resources, Wikipedia contrasts “in vitro”, “in situ”, and “in vivo”. My medievalist spouse would be proud of all the Latin I’m using today.)

  94. #94 strech
    April 21, 2008

    @Ian (87):
    Probably referring to own goals :
    (1986) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DbP7wqCwq8

    (There was one in the cup finals last year as well, which is probably the 2007 date).

  95. #95 Dude
    April 21, 2008

    Like many others I was solidly convinced this vid had nothing to do with Expelled and wasn’t made by creationists or anyone even on their payroll.

    I was wrong.

    What convinced me were the references in the video that no one in the target audience of Expelled would likely understand or recognize.

    Its still a great video, well made, absolutely hilarious (because I can’t help but see it as a parody of the creationist persecution complex and their various strawmen arguments).

    Well done Michael Edmondson, well done indeed sir.

  96. #96 RupertG
    April 21, 2008

    This has to be the best money the DI (or whoever funded Expelled – has anyone got a handle on that?) has ever spent. Toppermost congrats to Michael, Son of Edmond and the rest of the team. The music was great, the dancing – oh, Eugenie! – spot on, and the script to die for. I hope the check cleared.

    At the risk of sounding like a humourless clod myself (I’m getting me one of ‘em I Heart Booze headbands. Merch site?), the day we lose sight of the fact that this whole ID Vs Science nonsense is every bit as ridiculous as anything the Pythons did is the day we’ve lost it completely. Ridicule is the best offence against the authoritarian, and gleefully enjoyed by those who know reality always has the last laugh.

  97. #97 taliesin
    April 21, 2008

    in vitro veritas –> test tube –> YouTube

    Trans: ‘In YouTube there is truth’

    Maybe?

  98. #98 Carlie
    April 21, 2008

    So was it “Dick to the Doc” or “Dick to the Dawk”? Or both?

    Either way, a hearty round of applause for Michael Edmonson for a thoroughly entertaining video.

  99. #99 Hypocee
    April 21, 2008

    Fair play to you, Mr. Edmonton. I explicitly argued against BTB originating from the Expelled; you fooled me. A community satire made more sense to me, but sadly my hypothesis has encountered inhospitable data and must be abandoned.

    I still love it, I still thank you for making a great clip, and I’ll be looking out for your name in future.

  100. #100 Cheezits
    April 21, 2008

    If Mike did all the dancing himself, he will probably be in demand for parties now. I hope he has a Dawkins mask. :-D

  101. #101 Hypocee
    April 21, 2008

    EdmondSON, sorry. There goes my attempt at good-natured gravitas.

  102. #102 Ichthyic
    April 21, 2008

    Interesting, Ichthyic — I’ve always heard “in vitro” contrasted with “in vivo”, contrasting a lab preparation with a procedure or study done directly in/on the organism (e.g., a drug tested on cultured cells versus the living organism). I’ve never heard the “in situ” usage before, but then again, I’m not directly in the discipline.

    heh, I’m sure if you speak with a cell biologist, their contrast would be the vitro/vivo one.

    in zoology, we’ve always used the vitro/situ one… or even the vivo/situ one on occasion, since one can do studies in vivo, but still have the organism being studied not in situ.
    :P

    so, I guess you could have all three levels applied to experimental methodology.

    in vitro, where the subject is removed from localized environmental effects, in vivo, where the subject is studied inclusive of localized effects, and in situ, where the subject is studied inclusive of both localized and larger scale effects.

    but really, in situ only makes sense in cases where one wants to study a subject without removal from its “natural” environment.

    hence: “in place” being another lose translation of in situ.

    It makes perfect sense to talk about the level of studying impacts on cells in the in vitro/vivo fashion, but when studying a whole organism, it simply makes better sense to “scale it up” to in situ.

    all that aside, it’s more a convention than anything; one could make an argument that the “vivo” could logically be extrapolated to the environment itself, and that “situ” could speak of studying a cell in a body as opposed to in a test tube.

  103. #103 Don
    April 21, 2008

    Well done, Mr. Edmondson. I don’t care whose side you’re on (if any). That was a triumph.

  104. #104 Fire Ant
    April 21, 2008

    Mike, if you’re still reading these: am I crazy, or was the big ball of the machine you animated a picture of part of William Beebe’s bathysphere?

  105. #105 Ichthyic
    April 21, 2008

    It was paid for by the Expelled team? Seems like every time they score, it’s an “own goal.”

    for those that keep coming in saying this is a vid by creationists, THIS ^ is a much more apt description of what Edmonson’s vid accomplished, and I would say intended to accomplish.

    a creationist did NOT make this vid. a creationist PAID for this vid.

    not the same thing, at all.

  106. #106 Colugo
    April 21, 2008

    It occurs to me that Beware The Believers is a bigger deal than Sokal’s game-changing ‘Social Text’ prank.

  107. #107 Michael Edmondson
    April 21, 2008

    #104 – Close… but no… it’s an old russian space pod.

  108. #108 Dave
    April 21, 2008

    Mike, Dancing Rodents to you. That video was one of the funnier things Ive seen in a long time.

  109. #109 Mark
    April 21, 2008

    The problem is is that Expelled appears to be produced at the same high level as the Beware video. At least according to Michael Shermer. They’ve apparently got a product as slick as something Michael Moore could do.

    Those who don’t know the facts will be swayed by this clever piece of propaganda.

  110. #110 Sean
    April 21, 2008

    Mr. Edmondson, as you may have surmised, the atheist community has become much enamored by your work. Ditto for the Christian evolutionists, the IDers, and judging by the comments on youtube, the great masses who do not give the issue a second thought. Now that is an outreach program.

    So, *whistling innocently*, how much would need to chip in to commission a satirical four minute piece dealing with some of our dear friends from Uncommon Descent? Dembski, Dave, Sal, and the Canadian Crossdresser all cry out for a musical of their own. I think they feel left out.

    Oh, and if it not a contract violation or against some unwritten Code of Filmmakers, how much ‘guidance’ in the subject matter were you given by your clients? How long was it from commission to product release?

  111. #111 windy
    April 21, 2008

    in vitro, where the subject is removed from localized environmental effects, in vivo, where the subject is studied inclusive of localized effects, and in situ, where the subject is studied inclusive of both localized and larger scale effects.

    I don’t think this is always the case: for example in situ hybridisation can be very small scale, but still “in place”.

  112. #112 Numerical Thief
    April 21, 2008

    in zoology, we’ve always used the vitro/situ one… or even the vivo/situ one on occasion, since one can do studies in vivo, but still have the organism being studied not in situ.

    There’s also a fourth, fairly recent addition, “in silico” (my method, as it is) referring to “experiments” performed on a computer (i.e. “in silicon”). The term is perhaps more common in chemistry, where computational models are fairly widespread (physics too, except that everything is calculated in physics so it’s not a useful term). However, with the rise of systems/computational biology and computational neuroscience it’s becoming more common in the life sciences as well.

  113. #113 Ichthyic
    April 21, 2008

    I don’t think this is always the case: for example in situ hybridisation can be very small scale, but still “in place”.

    as I said in the earlier post:

    all that aside, it’s more a convention than anything; one could make an argument that the “vivo” could logically be extrapolated to the environment itself, and that “situ” could speak of studying a cell in a body as opposed to in a test tube.

  114. #114 Curt Cameron
    April 21, 2008

    mark wrote:
    Those who don’t know the facts will be swayed by this clever piece of propaganda.

    To wit:

    Ben Stein Vs. Sputtering Atheists

  115. #115 Ichthyic
    April 21, 2008

    Ben Stein Vs. Sputtering Atheists

    heh. the one who wins the sputtering contest in that article is the author.

    I could almost smell the “harumphs”.

  116. #116 Bob L
    April 21, 2008

    Michael Edmund #104 – Close… but no… it’s an old russian space pod.

    Nothing better than a old piece of communist junk for us godless atheists. LOL

  117. #117 foxfire
    April 21, 2008

    Mike & co workers – thank you for a creatively funny video that both sides managed to enjoy and thanks for joining the Pharyngula comments (I too wondered about the machine).

    @110 – hey Sean, I’d be more than willing to chip in on that project!

  118. #118 CrypticLife
    April 21, 2008

    A nice example of Pascal’s wager…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=PqJpZOljjG8

  119. #119 MChandler
    April 21, 2008

    @#97

    You are on to something there my friend.

  120. #120 Sastra
    April 21, 2008

    Well, major kudos to Mike Edmondson and Matt Chandler for the clever lyrics. Don’t forget him.

    As others have pointed out, it strikes most of us atheists as an “over the top” parody of what the Evil-lutionists are supposed to be like, a la The Onion. I suppose creationists must see it as less parody, and more in-your-face “here’s what you’re really like” taunting. My own prediction at the time it first appeared was that it was made by someone “in the golden middle” — pro-science and not especially sympathetic to Creationism, but thinks the Atheists are too smug.

    Although it was paid for by the Expelled team, I’m still not sure I was wrong.

  121. #121 Beth
    April 21, 2008

    I’d love to hear from Matt Chandler about the video – those lyrics were awesome.

  122. #122 MAJeff, OM
    April 21, 2008

    Who cares about truth? Gimme the fucking wine!

  123. #123 rrt
    April 21, 2008

    Just to pile on: Mr. Edmondson, thank you. Fantastic work. And a hat tip to Mr. Howard for his cleverness.

    Beth: I think (?) we just did, at #119.

  124. #124 Russell Blackford
    April 21, 2008

    Well, I said at the time that it satirised Dawkins, etc., from the viewpoint of someone who didn’t necessarily think their worldview was actually wrong, but was presenting them as arrogant, self-congratulatory, etc. Kind of South Park style satire, rather someone using the video to endorse ID. As far as I can tell from PZ’s post, this wasn’t too far from the mark. Sastra and I were the only people pushing this line as far as I remember, but I think we were about the nearest to getting it right.

  125. #125 MChandler
    April 21, 2008

    Thanks for the italicized shout out Sastra.
    Appreciate the kind words re: the text Beth.

    Mike sent me a link to this site earlier. Hope to get a chance to post a little of the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff later today
    (easier that way then via iphone like this…)

  126. #126 Beth
    April 21, 2008

    re:#125

    Looking forward to it!

  127. #127 Hypocee
    April 21, 2008

    Thanks for the reminders on Matt Chandler. Mr. Chandler, Mike Edmonson/Float On Films is pretty easy to find but there are more Matt Chandlers. Are you the two-pages-of-Village-Church Christian fundamentalist Matt Chandler? The itinerant web designer Matt Chandler? Could you please give us a pointer towards anything else you write/do/make/sell?

    And of course, I was remiss before. Thank you for your Intelligent Design work on the clip, and thanks also to Messrs. Sullivan, Ruloff and Craft for your contributions.

  128. #128 Ian
    April 21, 2008

    There’s also a fourth, fairly recent addition, “in silico” (my method, as it is) referring to “experiments” performed on a computer (i.e. “in silicon”).

    Ugh. “Silicon” is derived from the Latin silex, silicis. So properly, the term ought to be “in silice“.

  129. #129 longstreet63
    April 21, 2008

    Mr. Edmonds an team, additional kudos from me…

    However, as you well know, us sciencey types can’t abide any theories we don’t already hold. Therefore, we must insist that the author of this wonderful clip remains anonymous to this day, and will of course, blacklist anyone who says differently…

    Oh, wait–now get it! HAHAHAHA!

    Seriously, though–great work…

    Steve “I thought there was no intelligence allowed.” James

  130. #130 Numerical Thief
    April 21, 2008

    Ugh. “Silicon” is derived from the Latin silex, silicis. So properly, the term ought to be “in silice”.

    Figures the latin would be wrong. That said, in silico is still the term used (I’m not saying it’s correct in terms of language, just that it’s the term used.) Blame the engineers who made it up.

  131. #131 Numerical Thief
    April 21, 2008

    Ugh, I lied. A mathematician came up with the term. How embarrassing.

  132. #132 gyokusai
    April 21, 2008

    Well, well.

    Kept sticking my neck out quite thoroughly, especially at RD.net—and now it seems I’ve been fooled all along. But I don’t feel particularly fooled, actually! This video is funny, smart, and subversive. No matter if it’s intended to be pro-ID, it’s still great, and I still like it.

    Kudos to Michael Edmondson and his posse! LOL! Keep up the good work, yo.

    ^_^J.

  133. #133 CanadianChick
    April 21, 2008

    Michael et al…I’ll chip in warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies (with pecans) if you’ll make the video requested in post #110…

    I’m a Vancouver girl, so delivery while still warm could be guaranteed…

  134. #134 Duae Quartunciae
    April 21, 2008

    I said thanks to Mike in the Pandas Thumb thread for coming out; now I’m hanging out to hear more from Matt. The lyrics were very clever, and my own guess (made on April 8) is as follows: cut and paste from a Christian web forum I inhabit. (I’m not a Christian myself, just a regular contributor there.)

    I have one wild thought…. in with all the many allusions (to Payley, Scopes, Aristotle, etc) there is a line “frame the discourse”. This, I suspect, is an allusion to the debate that has been raging through the scienceblogs over the last year or so on “framing science”; or how do we most effectively communicate in science education.

    Put crudely, it often devolves into a discussion between those who would like to play down the conflict with religion and emphasize that religious belief can be compatible with good science, and those who want to be out and proud about atheism, and represent religion as the whole problem for science education. Nearly all those involved in that debate seem to be themselves atheist or agnostic, interestingly enough. It is about how you let your own unbelief relate to the issues of science education.

    This video seems to be heavily involved in THAT debate, and poking a bit of fun at the out and proud side; but without any real malice. I suspect it is from someone who has been following the debate going on WITHIN the mainstream science side. My guess is that it is from a pro-science anti-ID person, who is inspired by the debate between the extremes of those (like Matthew Nisbet) wanting the “new atheists” like Dawkins and Myers to stay out of the debate because they upset so many folks; and those like PZ Myers himself who wants to get down a dirty with religion at every opportunity. Both sides of that debate are anti-ID.

    Unless you read the scienceblogs collective, the details of this “framing” debate are most likely not something you’ve heard about before.

    I won’t mind at all if I am wrong — I know it is a wild guess. But Matt… I’m going out on a limb to guess that you’ve read scienceblogs before this.

  135. #135 Paul Flocken
    April 21, 2008

    #104 – Close… but no… it’s an old russian space pod. Posted by: Michael Edmondson | April 21, 2008 4:54 PM

    I thought the eye of the Machine was the eye of the HAL9000.

    Just seemed appropriate. ^_^

  136. #136 Michael Edmondson
    April 21, 2008

    #135 You are right.

    The machines eye was intended to look like HAL.

  137. #137 llanitedave
    April 22, 2008

    The main analog I see in all this is the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. The British in the Revolutionary War created it in order to poke fun and scorn at the “Amateur” American soldiers, and the Americans adopted it as their own, their band playing it to the captured British Army at Yorktown.

    Here we see a skit created to heap scorn on atheist scientists being inverted and adopted enthusiastically by them, and I’d certainly enjoy rapping that little ditty as I march my jackboots over some fundie church of superstition.

  138. #138 Thomas Howard
    April 22, 2008

    llanitedave:

    I’d certainly enjoy rapping that little ditty as I march my jackboots over some fundie church of superstition.

    Shhh! You’re giving away our ultra-super-ninja-secret EVIL plan. BTW, anyone seen my jackboot polish? No, reason. Just asking is all….

    *whistles nonchalantly*

  139. #139 Ferrous Patella
    April 22, 2008

    The non-stop allusion are what make BtB. Matt Chandler cuttlefishesque lyrics are are killer. The visual allusions abound too (my favorite was the somewhat obscure seasick Darwin aboard the Beagle.) The pimped-up characters and choreography were seriously fun. The whole thing was the second funnist thing I had seen on the web in a long time. Thank you to the whole crew!

  140. #140 Dave Luckett
    April 22, 2008

    ‘The main analog I see in all this is the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy”.’

    It’s a good example. The British did the same with the Old Contemptibles, throwing the Kaiser’s words back in his face, and so did my own small nation: “We are Fred Karno’s army, the A.N.Z.A.C./We cannot shoot/We don’t salute/What bloody use are we?/And when we get to Berlin, the Kaiser he will say:/Hoch! Hoch! Mein Gott!/What a bloody odd lot/To get six bob a day.”

    Memo to the DI: Watch out for incoming. If you attempt to use satire against people who actually appreciate it, it tends to boomerang. But then, so do curses, we’re told, so I reckon you’re stuffed.

  141. #141 MChandler
    April 22, 2008

    I’ve been asked by some to explain a little about the circumstances of the song I wrote for Believers Beware.

    This is very possibly more than most of you want to know and I shall not be offended in the least should you skip over my post to rejoin the deliriously exciting ‘vitro, situ, vivo’ debate.

    For those of you interested enough to read on, I raise a half-drunk glass of strawberry Boone’s to you and offer you my sincerest thanks for your generous praise.

    The Writing of Believer’s Beware: In Situ Edition

    In answer to #127 above I am not, in fact, the right reverend Matt Chandler nor the web designer of the same name.
    My relative ‘ungooglabilty’ I chiefly owe to having spent the majority of my varied career as adventurer, swashbuckling bon vivant and sometime out-of-work writer overseas, along the under-backpacked Scando-Germano-Nipponese rim. [True story]

    I was contacted by one of the producers originally to bring the funny to a rewrite of an animated piece which was to be included in the film. However, when I arrived to the post-production offices on the tiny island off Canada’s misnomered Sunshine Coast it was announced that the piece was being cut from the film altogher to be repurposed as Youtube viral.

    In the form of an old Soviet propaganda film.
    With rapping bobble-headed scientists.
    And a dancing one-eyed machine.
    And no longer than 30 seconds.
    And we need it yesterday.
    Oh and this is Mike, he’ll be doing the animation.

    Such was the ignoble beginning of my association with ‘Believers Beware’.
    Equal parts confusion and wtf.

    I needed time to think so I trucked down the island’s only major thoroughfare and settled into its only internet café, broke out my moleskin and set to work thinking up Dick jokes and words that rhymed with Aristotle. It was heady work.
    By the end of that first day I had a rough first draft of the lyrics in the form of a brief history of the debate. It had a run time of about five minutes.

    That night at a dinner party [director Nathan] Frankowski’s wife asked me what I’d been working on for the film. When I told her I was writing a rap she asked me if I wouldn’t mind busting out with little sample. Emboldened by the island’s finest boxed wine I unwisely obliged.
    I’ll spare you the gory details of its initial reception. Let it suffice to say this- if you are ever needing to dry up a dinner party in a hurry try busting out the line ‘don’t you know that this Dick is uncock-fricken-blockable!’ wearing a linen napkin doo-rag and singing into a bread stick microphone. It really does the trick.

    The next day I was reasonably confident I’d be getting pink-slipped. But it didn’t happen.
    In fact the producers responded to it quite positively. And to their credit they got what I was going for in the text.
    Neither the double meanings nor the purposed ambiguity was lost on them. At least that was my impression. Movie producers in general can be an unscrupulous inscrutable lot.

    Be that as it may, I am happy to report the only parts redacted were cut for time, not for content; an unexpected shock considering the previous night’s debacle. (A pox upon you Boone’s Farm! And your wild strawberry hurricane flavored cabernet too!)

    The next stage was sitting down with the lads from Twits who’d been brought over from London to do some music for the film. [Producer] Walt put Andy, Robbie and I in a room and after just one a capella performance by the writer (sans linen doo-rag) these guys had worked out the tune.

    It was quite a sight to behold.

    The whole thing couldn’t have taken longer than 15 minutes, after which they layered my vocals* over the music and offered it up to the producers who unanimously approved.

    Once that was done it fell to Mike to work his considerable flash skillz and poppin’ fresh dance moves and turn it into the visual tour-de force we have today.

    I note with some professional chagrin that the best parts of this piece are not my own. Mike’s artistry, Andy’s catchy beat, the Dancing Darwin and pimped out Dennet. All the work of others.

    As such I feel no self-conscious twinge in joining your applause for this work’s brilliance.

    [Producer] John Sullivan should share some of the praise. He had the rap idea and the belief that we could make it work. And I am grateful that he gave us the artistic freedom to do exactly that.

    * To my dying breath I will labor to ensure that this version of the track never be released onto the internets. Unless a niche market for novelty songs aimed at drying up dinner parties should ever develop. Then we might talk.

  142. #142 MChandler
    April 22, 2008

    PS- Kudos to those who correctly I.D.’d (amiright?) that the term used was neither Doc nor Dawk but both, simultaneously. Because ‘Doc’ without ‘Dawk’ is lame, and ‘Dawk’ without ‘Doc’ is blind.

    I know, freaky right?

  143. #143 Mavaddat
    April 22, 2008

    Wow, cool. This whole episode was really awesome to read and follow up on. Thanks for sharing the story with us, Matt. Now, since I live in Vancouver, I want to hunt down this Mike guy and buy him a few rounds… of beer.

  144. #144 Liam
    April 22, 2008

    Ferrous Patella: “The whole thing was the second funniest thing …”

    Oh COME ON. You can’t say that and not provide a link….

    People have no decency anymore.

    L

  145. #145 Duae Quartunciae
    April 22, 2008

    Matt says:

    I note with some professional chagrin that the best parts of this piece are not my own. Mike’s artistry, Andy’s catchy beat, the Dancing Darwin and pimped out Dennet. All the work of others.

    No mate, you can’t fragment a work of art like that. The lyrics are inseparable from the whole effect. Sorry about the swelled head and all that, but you’re going to have to get major credit for this.

    And, I might add, the story of how it was done confirms you have the writer’s gift.

  146. #146 Carlie
    April 22, 2008

    MChandler, thanks for sharing the story with us. However it came to be, it’s brilliant from all angles. So you really weren’t steeped in evolutionary theory and the history of the ID wars before writing it? That makes it even more exceptional. Great job to all of you.

  147. #147 Gordy
    April 22, 2008

    You see, it really was a viral for Expelled! ;)

    Even so, Michael Edmondson & MChandler – much respect to you two talented individuals! The animation and the rap complement each other perfectly. (I just hope you haven’t persuaded too many people to go and see this creationist propaganda…)

  148. #148 Cheezits
    April 22, 2008

    Oh, I *love* Boone’s Farm! All the more now that I know what an important part it played in the making of the video.

    I still wonder who first introduced it to this blog.

  149. #149 John B.
    April 22, 2008

    Matt Chandler and company: just wanted to add my voice to all those singing praises to that very funny, witty and brilliantly crafted BtB. And thanks for the story of how it all came together.

    For what it’s worth, I’d have given anything to be at that dinner party when Mrs. Frankowski asked for a sample of what you’d been working on…too funny!

  150. #150 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    April 22, 2008

    BtB bites to the bone; all the more amazing if the production team rushed in and got the feel of the issues so quickly.

    I’ll have to repeat an earlier request though:

    Can we please, please, see an uncensored version for the Scando-Germano-Nipponese areas of the world? The censoring is piling parody on parody in an un-meta way, IMHO.

    Think of it as uncock-fricken-blockable!

  151. #151 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 22, 2008

    Just for the record, I’m with comment 31. And 39. And 51, 52, 72, 80, 81, 92, 105, 106…

    I have a friend whose family owned a bookstore in the bible belt of TX (which could be just about anywhere in the entire state) and their #1 most shoplifted book was the bible! Go figure.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    The problem is is that Expelled appears to be produced at the same high level as the Beware video. At least according to Michael Shermer. They’ve apparently got a product as slick as something Michael Moore could do.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. One word: “Lord Privy Seal”.

    Well, I said at the time that it satirised Dawkins, etc., from the viewpoint of someone who didn’t necessarily think their worldview was actually wrong, but was presenting them as arrogant, self-congratulatory, etc. Kind of South Park style satire, rather someone using the video to endorse ID. As far as I can tell from PZ’s post, this wasn’t too far from the mark.

    Tell again. Don’t confuse who paid it with who made it.

    Ugh. “Silicon” is derived from the Latin silex, silicis. So properly, the term ought to be “in silice“.

    That would mean “in the flintstone pebble”.

    In languages other than English, the element is called silicium

    No matter if it’s intended to be pro-ID

    It isn’t! It was just paid for by the IDologists. They were hoodwinked. Read comment 106 again.

  152. #152 Deepsix
    April 22, 2008

    MChandler, thanks for the entertaining story.

    One question, did you write both the song lyrics and the dialogue in the first part of the video?

    It seemed the first part of the video had more of a pro-Expelled slant whereas the 2nd half, the rap, appeared more pro-science. I think this is why most were confused as to who was behind the making of the video.

  153. #153 Michael Edmondson
    April 22, 2008

    #152
    The original script was much different (no rap) and had passed through three sets of hands (Matt was one of those sets) directly or loosely connected to the film. It was decided we would take the first two scenes and cut the next thirty (the remnants of those scenes are what you see playing on Dawkins movie screen) and ad the rap. Nice observation.

  154. #154 Beth
    April 22, 2008

    Matt, thanks for the story! Your writing is hilarious, and you really should tell us where we can find more of it.

    The lyrics really do sound like they’re coming from someone who’s been in the thick of the debate for some time, so kudos for picking up all its nuances so fast.

  155. #155 Joe Kilner
    April 22, 2008

    I think (backed up by comment #141) that the rap and video just tell the story straight (in a really funny way). The fact is that the story speaks for itself.

    The point I’m making is that the people making the video didn’t need to be anti-ID to make something like this, they just have to look at the history accurately and from a human angle (with a good eye for humour).

    And I dare say that there are plenty on the other side of the argument who also feel that the story speaks for itself – but in their favour…

  156. #156 windy
    April 22, 2008

    …it was announced that the piece was being cut from the film altogher to be repurposed as Youtube viral.

    Wow, I bet they are kicking themselves now. At least they should be, for leaving out the funny part.

  157. #157 Sastra
    April 22, 2008

    Interesting. One of the reasons I thought the video might be an intentional satire of Expelled was because of the beginning. A scientist doing actual research in a lab comes up with a finding suggesting Intelligent Design — “hey, look at this!” — and he is immediately booted out by Big Science Machine. Evolutionists get the heavy irony, of course — there ARE no exciting, provocative Intelligent Design research findings. They’re not in the labs, making discoveries. They’re not trying to get their colleagues to hey, look at this. That’s what they should be doing, and they aren’t. They’re making movies instead. It read like a sly dig.

    If there really had been something novel and interesting under that microscope, the Evil Establishment Scientist would have been fighting to grab priority and credit. The robot kicking the guy out the window just came off to us like the Onion headline “Massachusetts Supreme Court Orders All Citizens to Gay Marry.” Mocking the paranoia about “Big Science” — not the scientific mainstream and its cut-throat, competitive system of peer review.

    Since this passed the producers and various people who were behind Expelled, it’s hard to know exactly what they were thinking. Perhaps they really do believe there is some genuine research behind it. Or, they think their audience believes it.

    You know, I note one interesting thing. Despite all the discussion, as far as I can tell, nobody here has directly asked either Michael or Matt if they are cdesign proponentists. It’s kind of like the elephant in the room. Of course, I’m assuming (and others may also be) that they can’t really say, or get involved in the debate, due to contract or professional courtesy to their employer. Which is understandable.

    It’s also possible, though, that we’re a bit afraid to hear that they are FERVENT believers, and oh there IS SO MUCH research, blah blah blah — because we love them and they are so incredibly cool. Plus, the idea of a kind of double stealth Sokol hoax has just been fun.

    If the video was supposed to upset the so-called New Atheists, it clearly backfired. We don’t think having a degree in evolutionary biology makes you smarter than people who don’t have one — but it certainly does make you more informed. Failing to recognize that one needs considerable expertise in a technical area to go against the overwhelming scientific consensus is what’s dumb. And we assumed the people who made the clever video got that part, with the smugly gloating Dawk/Doc. “I have a PhD in Biology, so I know what I’m talking about.” Well, uh … yes. Actually. Enough to know what to talk about.

    Plus, there were no references to Hitler. That was one of the major reasons I doubted the movie folks were behind it. How could they have resisted rows of goose-stepping nazis? The video people were above that nonsense.

    Still, as Carl Sagan said, “Better a hard truth than a comforting fable.”

    (Are you creationists?)

  158. #158 Deepsix
    April 22, 2008

    Thanks for your response, Michael.

    But, Sastra, it isn’t what you or I, or the makers of the movie believe. It’s what they want their audience to believe. “Science BAD! RAWR!”

  159. #159 Damian
    April 22, 2008

    MChandler & Michael Edmondson – you magnificent barstewards! This whole episode is quite hilarious. You should be proud that you have entertained several hundred thousand people, at the very least. Pimp Daddy Dennett is one of the funniest things that I have seen in a very long time.

    Is it possible to tell us whether the Expelled producers were aware that for many of the people who see all of their claims as a load of made up nonsense (and worse, but I won’t go there), much of the video came across as a parody of their own paranoia, as well as being decidedly pro-science, overall? A parody depends on there being some truth to the subject matter, after all.

    Obviously, for people who actually believe what is in the film it is a different story. But, just as we have the fossils…..

    Ooh, is that the arrogance that people speak of? :)

    Thanks, again.

  160. #160 JRQ
    April 22, 2008

    What got me about the original video was it didn’t seem possible it was intended for the same audience as to whom the film was marketed. I couldn’t square the legit informed references with the efforts of the producers to sneak most of the Expelled buzz around to church congregations, and control who got to see it and review it.

    Come on — how many of Expelled’s intended audience would have recognized PZ and understood the significance of the squid? Almost certainly, I thought, only those who know the blogosphere, were already aware of Expelled, and were already planning to see it.

  161. #161 windy
    April 22, 2008

    Of course, I’m assuming (and others may also be) that they can’t really say, or get involved in the debate, due to contract or professional courtesy to their employer. Which is understandable.

    I don’t care about authorial intent as long as the result is funny… but here’s another potentially sensitive question: was this originally commissioned for a film called Expelled, or a film called Crossroads? :D :D :D

    (you don’t have to answer that if it is a sensitive question)

  162. #162 Kingasaurus
    April 22, 2008

    Also, the point of viral marketing is to increase awareness and buzz. Maybe BtB did this, but it apparently hasn’t translated to people actually going to see the movie.

    If you create something which gets vitriolic opponents of the film’s message to respond (seemingly) more positively than people sympathetic to its message, you’ve probably defeated the original purpose of the film backers.

    All this glowing praise from science bloggers is great for the creative team that made BtB. I’m thinking it ain’t so great for the film’s producers – despite the fact that they signed off on it.

  163. #163 Sili
    April 22, 2008

    Ah, how rude of me not to thank the writer too.

    Excellent job, mr. Chandler! And thank you for the “making off” special.

  164. #164 MChandler
    April 22, 2008

    @#157

    The video was never intended to upset anyone. I’ve always viewed it as a lampoon of the state of the controversy more than anything.

    The ambiguity of the video’s meaning was definitely not an accident. It allowed both sides to read their own meanings into it.

    What was interesting was the phenomenon which followed. Bright and Intelligent people on either side of the issue hunkering down and taking unqualified positions on the data presented.

    A: It is this, and you’re a fool if you think otherwise!
    B: Never! You’re as ignorant as you are blind! Clearly the joke is on you!

    The kicker of it was that the joke was ‘on’ both,
    while never being ‘at’ either.

    My sense of humor is just perverse enough to have found this immensely satisfying.

    The elephantine question you parenthetically end on, Sastra, reminds me of my years in Europe where from time to time I would be asked if I wasn’t an American.

    The question was most often put to me just about the time any potentially contentious topic entered the conversation, as if my response would tell the asker everything he needed to know about my position in advance. (Oh, you’re American? You’re pro-Bush! You support the war! You drive an SUV! You drink cheap, boxed American wine!)
    None Most of which isn’t true at all.

    No one from Expelled ever once asked me, as I feared they might, if I was a creationist and I am thankful for that.
    I was hired to do a job, to poke fun at both sides. I did just that and shut up about the rest.

    It is a policy I shrewdly continue here.

  165. #165 Cheezits
    April 22, 2008

    My sense of humor is just perverse enough to have found this immensely satisfying.

    Me too. *smirk* Youze guys must have had a great time reading all that discussion: “It’s OBVIOUSLY pro-ID!” “It’s OBVIOUSLY anti-ID!”

    It is a policy I shrewdly continue here.

    Heh heh heh.

    Keep up the good work.

  166. #166 Sean
    April 22, 2008

    Heh. You have already revealed too much in my opinion.

    *No* Intelligent Design advocate, much less a full blown creationist, has ever written so many words without breaking cover, praising Jesus, and decrying The Great Darwinist/Atheist/Liberal Conspiracy.

    We have all seen them try. “I have an open mind and just want to learn more.” They usually only last about two postings or three paragraphs…whichever comes first.

    I have explicitly sucked up to the dancer, now for your share. Brilliant. It was the lyrics which had me arguing against an Expelled origin. Funny dancing guys seemed up their alley, Wilberforce not so much.

  167. #167 Jeff Hebert
    April 22, 2008

    Great work guys, and thank you both for talking more about it here, it’s been very interesting reading.

    One quick question, do you know if the tune is an homage to Eminem’s “Without me“?

  168. #168 MChandler
    April 22, 2008

    Certainly Eminem was enjoying some heavy rotation on my Ipod at the time, Jeff. Without Me and Lose Yourself were both in my head I am sure. But the larger influence on my approach was MC Solaar.

    Think Noam Chomsky meets Slim Shady with a dash of Quentin Tarantino.

    The limitations of translation have prevented his wider popularity in the English speaking world but, man, can that cat spit. For real, yo.

  169. #169 MChandler
    April 22, 2008

    Sean said…

    Heh. You have already revealed too much in my opinion.

    Bah! This is why I’m not a fan of blog posting. I can’t rewrite myself after the fact.

    I amend the following:
    No one from Expelled ever once asked me, as I feared they might, if I was a creationist and I am thankful for that.

  170. #170 Aegis
    April 22, 2008

    Understanding this was done at the behest of Expelled’s producers validated my earlier thoughts – that it was a piece paid for by them, in an attempt to make atheists look silly. while it doesn’t succeed in making us feel silly to US, I still don’t like the video. I think that for a certain group, it will reinforce the misconception of arrogance that is applied when someone who is right on an issue bothers to let people know.

    It’s like in “Idiocracy”, when the main character tried to explain his out-of-time situation –
    “He framed his arguments logically and clearly, but his words sounded ‘faggy’ to them”.

    I fear that the video promotes that stereotype of the science geek who can’t be cool because they are intelligent, and instead has to ape being ‘hip’.

    Personally, I like money and as a graphics guy myself I understand the allure of hollywood money, but personally I might have turned this project down. On the other hand, perhaps Mike has done as much as he could do (and still get the final approvals) to create a video as damaging to them as it may be to us. And if he took money away from creationists, then I am all for it especially if he spends it secularly (like on an NCSE membership or porn).

  171. #171 dahduh
    April 22, 2008

    I wonder if during his Scando-Germano-Nipponese travels Mr. Chandler became aware of the Dutch/Afrikaans meaning of ‘Poes’? Because that’s how they will all read Mr. Stein’s T-shirt, and rather appropriately too.

    In addition to heaping warm congratulations on the producers of a brilliant piece of work, I have have just one burning question: why does “Reporting idiocy isn’t really _squealing_” appear in the first few frames of BtB? That’s what fooled me into thinking it was an inside job, but _not_ approved by the management.

    Or maybe the management didn’t really realize the bill of goods they had been sold? Ok, you don’t have to answer that one.

  172. #172 Russell Blackford
    April 22, 2008

    Well, it does poke fun at both sides, but it seems that some people here will never admit that it pokes fun at the scientists or that the people who paid for this got a decent product. Yes, it is clearly not the work of creationists (the history of the debate part favours the scientists if anything), but nor is it the work of people who are trying to debunk the ID conspiracy theory. It remains the case that it’s main thrust is to depict Dawkins and co. turfing enemies from the academy and boasting about themeselves and the money they are making. You can bet that the message was clear enough to the intended audience – no one over at Uncommon Descent was in much doubt last I looked. Of course, for us the sheer energy of the Dawkins etc characters makes them attractive. For the punters who think about “those arrogant scientists and atheists” it will read very differently.

    It’s all very clever, but don’t turn it into something it’s not.

  173. #173 Russell Blackford
    April 22, 2008

    Dammit, I hate it when I write “it’s” as a possessive and don’t notice before I post.

  174. #174 Sastra
    April 22, 2008

    Aegis #170 wrote:

    And if he took money away from creationists, then I am all for it especially if he spends it secularly (like on an NCSE membership or porn).

    Hey, let’s see if Edmondson can combine the two, and make a new video by talking Genie Scott into getting into a bikini for real!

    MChandler #164:
    wise policy noted and accepted…

  175. #175 Quidam
    April 22, 2008

    Hey, let’s see if Edmondson can combine the two, and make a new video by talking Genie Scott into getting into a bikini for real!

    Eugenie Scott is an attractive and very intelligent 62 year old woman. Let’s admire and respect her for that and not try to turn her into a pinup for some post-adolescent mid-life fantasy.

    It’s not some fraternity contest “Hey Eugenie is hotter than Denyse”. (even if she is) We all know Eugenie is smarter than Denyse – she has a science degree – and that’s what counts.

    If you want to look at scantily clad women teh Interwebs is full of them.

    (Neither do I want to see PZ Myers oiled up in a leopard print posing pouch.)

  176. #176 Sastra
    April 22, 2008

    Quidam #175 wrote:

    Eugenie Scott is an attractive and very intelligent 62 year old woman. Let’s admire and respect her for that and not try to turn her into a pinup for some post-adolescent mid-life fantasy.

    Well, I admire and respect her enough to allow her to decide whether or not she would like to be a pinup for some post-adolescent mid-life fantasy. I suspect an attractive and very intelligent 62 year old woman would appreciate having the option.

    (Neither do I want to see PZ Myers oiled up in a leopard print posing pouch.)

    Speak for yourself.

    PZ will have a hard time besting Phil Plait’s naked telescope pose on the Skepchik’s Calendar. Though I see him involved with squid, rather than leopard.

  177. #177 chuckgoecke
    April 22, 2008

    I posted this in another thread, but i think this is the more appropriate one: I have a radical new theory (new to me) about whats up with the Expelled movie, especially in light of the revelation that the video of “Dicky D” and the Monster Machine was also by the team from Expelled. Perhaps they are actually on our side, got funding secretly from from someone like Charles Simonyi, or Bill Gates, or Trey Parker, et al, and were tasked with putting together the worst pro Intelligent Design film possible. The idea would be to expose the weakness of the ID side with a sort of parody film that was just good enough to get the soft minded Christian right to swallow and endorse it, but to most any other people, it would highlight the weakness of their argument. What makes me think so is that the Dicky “D” video was so outrageously cool and funny, the buffoonery was so over-the-top, that it backfired. Most of us evilutionists loved it. Apparently, the whole movie has backfired on them also, but not if it was never meant to succeed. Its almost excessively bad. And Ben Stein, he’s the guy you get to be the boring establishment stooge. It seems that they were intentionally picking every false argument made against Darwinian Natural Selection, packaged them up in a nice shiny lump of shit, and tossed it out their for us all to smell. In some circles it stuck. This is sort of my reverse conspiracy theory.

  178. #178 Ferrous Patella
    April 22, 2008

    Liam wrote:

    Ferrous Patella: ‘The whole thing was the second funniest thing …’

    Oh COME ON. You can’t say that and not provide a link….

    Um….
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/03/expelled.php

    But I though everybody knew about that.

  179. #179 Liz
    April 22, 2008

    Uh, Matt, please deny that you are in any way (or at least were) connected to Mike Huckabee?

    When I googled your name, I found an article by a Matt Chandler specifically about Expelled from Mike Huckabee’s camp. It just seems like such a strange coincidence, that I gotta ask the question.

  180. #180 Sastra
    April 22, 2008

    chuckgoeke #177:

    I hate to say this, but I don’t think EXpelled was quite bad enough to have been intended as parody. It’s fairly slick, it makes popular arguments you see again and again, and the Christian audiences who find it persuasive are not really soft or stupid. While the problems and fallacies jump out at us, we’re familiar with the territory. Creationists are trying to press two “liberal” emotional hot-buttons right now — pro-free speech, and anti-racism. Those are effective buttons to push. They’re trying not to seem like reactionary fogies — thus the whole “rebel” and “persecuted minority fights back” pose.

    If it had been meant as parody, you could make a much better case that it backfired. Some religious people whom I respect a great deal report that it was convincing to other religious people whom they respect a great deal — those with little scientific background. Not stupid — average.

    There’s also the not insignificant problem of “what’s the point?” They’re subtly exposing the weakness of the pro-ID side — to the people already against ID? Who won’t see it. So they can lose money? Even eccentric millionaires don’t want to lose money.

    It seems that they were intentionally picking every false argument made against Darwinian Natural Selection, packaged them up in a nice shiny lump of shit, and tossed it out their for us all to smell.

    But this is their Standard Operating Procedure. It’s not a suspicious departure.

  181. #181 foxfire
    April 22, 2008

    MChandler ,Matt: Thank you for sharing your part in the saga. You, Mike and and everyone else created a real “masterpiece” Kudos!

  182. #182 Carlie
    April 22, 2008

    I don’t think that it matters what Matt and Mike think about the whole thing with regard to how enjoyable it is. It’s funny, and that’s the point. If it’s straight parody of scientists, the people portrayed show a great sense of humor by laughing about it (and the rest of us scientists too by association; trust me, I’ll be humming “I’m smarter than you, I have a science degree! while grading finals). If it’s a meta-satire on creationists, it’s amusing that they see us that way, and it can be played to the hilt. It stands well on its own, without prying into the beliefs of the actual creators.

  183. #183 Beth
    April 22, 2008

    re:#177

    I’ve wondered that for a long time – ever since the mysterious “Deacon Blue” post on the Expelled blog when it was new. It was only up for a few hours, but I pasted it here: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/i_think_i_know_whats_going_to.php#comment-543668

  184. #184 Etha Williams
    April 22, 2008

    MChanlder, if you’re still reading, just want to add my voice to those who thought your lyrics were genius. I think my favorite has to be “Hell, if I was dyslexic, I’d even hate dogs too.”

    Absolute genius.

  185. #185 MChandler
    April 22, 2008

    @#179

    I’m thinking that might have been the right reverend Matt Chandler (see posting #141) as I’ve not written any pieces on anyone’s impressions of Expelled nor do I intend to.

    @#184

    Thanks for that Etha.
    In my earlier posting (#141) I mentioned that all the best bits were not my own. This line is one of two which were not written by me.

    True to form to seems to be widely regarded people’s favorite.
    *sigh*

  186. #186 amk
    April 23, 2008

    Just to add my congratulations to the makers of BtB. Great stuff, all of you.

    I’m mildly embarrassed to admit that I was one of those arguing against it being connected to Expelled.

    <dig>But then, being able to admit our errors is part of what makes us better than cdesign proponentsists.</dig> Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  187. #187 Colugo
    April 23, 2008

    Question:

    Did South Park pioneer or at least popularize the bobblehead animation style of using a photograph of a recognizable person’s head, along with a crudely moving mouth? I think that it was first used in the 1998 episode ‘Tom’s Rhinoplasty.’ Later Jib Jab and other online videos used the style. I don’t know; maybe there are pre-South Park examples, but I think South Park, especially the movie (featuring the Saddam bobblehead), really popularized it.

  188. #188 paragwinn
    April 23, 2008

    Colugo: Did South Park pioneer or at least popularize the bobblehead animation style of using a photograph of a recognizable person’s head, along with a crudely moving mouth?

    The British comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus utilized that type of animation. This TV show ran from 1969 to 1974.

  189. #189 Colugo
    April 23, 2008

    Thanks, paragwinn. I don’t know how I forgot Terry Gilliam’s animated sequences for Monty Python.

  190. #190 Gordy
    April 23, 2008

    Russell Blackford (#172 & #173)>

    Your “it’s” looks fine to me… The possessive form is “its” without an apostrophe. This is an exception to the usual rule so that we can distinguish the contracted form of “it is” (i.e. “it’s”) from the possessive form (“its”).

    OK, that’s enough grammar for one day… ;)

  191. #191 Russell Blackford
    April 23, 2008

    Yeah, Gordy, I know. But I accidentally used it as a possessive with an apostrophe in one post … then noticed after I posted. That’s what I was berating myself for. As one of the resident grammar demons, I can’t afford to make such mistakes.

  192. #192 DaveScot
    April 23, 2008

    We don’t think having a degree in evolutionary biology makes you smarter than people who don’t have one — but it certainly does make you more informed. Failing to recognize that one needs considerable expertise in a technical area to go against the overwhelming scientific consensus is what’s dumb.

    Yeah, sure. Having a degree in divinity makes you more informed about the bible too. Knowing more about an elaborate myth doesn’t turn make the myth true. Duh.

    As an agnostic I get to see both sides in the same light:

    “You’d know the bible was true if you studied it more”

    “You’d know evolution was true if you studied it more”

    Uh, no, I wouldn’t. Just a little study reveals to the unbiased observer they’re both elaborate fictions. “God of the Gaps” and “Darwin of the Gaps” are equally lacking in scientific rigor.

    My position to both is put up or shut up. Show me the bearded thunderer in the sky the bible describes and I’ll believe it’s real. Show me a complex code-driven machine like the ribosome self-assembling from inanimate matter and I’ll believe that fictional alternative to the bearded thunderer is true.

    In the meantime, just stick with the facts please.

  193. #193 Quidam
    April 23, 2008

    Show me a complex code-driven machine like the ribosome self-assembling from inanimate matter and I’ll believe

    How old are you now?

    Do you have the expertise to recognise a ribosome from a smectite if you saw one?

  194. #194 Nana
    April 23, 2008

    To Beware the Believers Team: My grand-daughter and I are still having a wonderful time singing your “little ditty”!
    Thank you so much.
    favorite line: If you don’t know Darwin, you don’t know Dick!

  195. #195 gyokusai
    April 23, 2008

    Matt Chandler, I think I really should extend my above kudos to you personally. Not only did you a terrific job, you did it in a terrific way (I’m a copy writer, so I have an idea about this kind of ad-hoc research & digest), and I think you’re handling the “elephant in the room” question professionally and admirably.

    And yes, after the clip was launched, my cherished Eminem albums miraculously found their way back into my player! There was a connection, for sure …

    Thanks! :-)

    ^_^J.

  196. #196 bigbang
    April 23, 2008

    Great piece of work on your “Beware of the Believer,” Mike Edmondson. Very entertaining and funny; although not quite as hilarious as when the evil Ben Stein tricked uber-atheist Dawkins, in Expelled, to say that space aliens may have started/designed life on earth; despite his neo-Darwinian insistence elsewhere that only mutations and non-directed natural selection explains life . . . so life here on earth may be intelligently designed after all)—-now that’s comedy.

  197. #197 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    April 26, 2008

    when the evil Ben Stein tricked uber-atheist Dawkins, in Expelled, to say that space aliens may have started/designed life on earth

    Um, there is no trick in that – panspermia is an old and accepted hypothesis of how the first populations originate on a planet. I doubt any biologist would be ignorant of it. Of course, you can’t have panspermia indefinitely back, as Big Bang puts a constraint, so abiogenesis is necessary in any case.

    Dawkins may have been reluctant to offer it as it is not relevant to abiogenesis in general, and unlikely in the ETI agent (“designer”) version.