Stranger Fruit

i-19871b696463d0a8f14220b80e2a08b2-expelled.jpg

Remember the e-mail I received stating that tonight’s Expelled screening in Tempe was canceled? The e-mail simply stated:

The Tempe, AZ Screening has been canceled.

Well, Ken McKnight called the theater today two or so hours before the screening. Ken says:

I just called the Arizona Mills Harkins theater and said that I had heard that the private screening of Expelled had been moved from 7:00 to 6:00 (I didn’t mention that I had been emailed that the showing was canceled). The person I spoke to confirmed that the movie is showing today at 6:00. Clearly the promoters are somehow screening the attendees and then sending out cancellation notices to the "undesirables."

There you go. Lying. Plain and simple and there is no way they can spin that.

Update: Brad was there and offers this report. The show indeed went on, despite being “canceled”.

Update 2: Ken has provided his account of the event.

Comments

  1. #1 ERV
    April 3, 2008

    Double sneak. If you showed up at 7, you would be an hour late.

    Hope Ken could make it (and didnt get hurt…).

  2. #2 Wesley R. Elsberry
    April 3, 2008

    I have email from the promoters saying that they had canceled the Livonia, MI screening. I guess I will call the theater and see if I also got “terminological inexactitude”.

  3. #3 Scote
    April 3, 2008

    Yup, they are liars. But I’m sure they’ll have spin saying the 7 pm showing was cancelled and the 6 pm showing was a completely different showing with completely different–all new–guest list. I’d guess people needed a fundie church reference to get on the list.

  4. #4 Wesley R. Elsberry
    April 3, 2008

    I just checked with the Livonia, MI theater, and the screening there has not been re-scheduled. So they appear to have been on the up-and-up with me so far as I can tell.

  5. #5 J-Dog
    April 3, 2008

    Didn’t I tell you that to fill in the Title Section of the Registratiuon Form as Pastor, or Youth Group Leader?

    Filling in the blank as Darwinist, Satan Worshipper, or Doctor of Anthropolgy, not so good.

  6. #6 Brad
    April 3, 2008

    I just posted this in the last thread before I noticed this one.

    I just got back from the theater and yes there was indeed a screening. I wasn’t on the list, but managed to get in anyway. After getting interrogated as to which church I was with and finally approval from the man behind the curtain whom I never saw, I was admitted into the theater just as the movie was starting.

    I told them I was not associated with a church here, that I am from Ohio and a friend sent me a link to the RSVP page. While that’s all true (assuming I can consider the fine folks here at scienceblogs friends) and I didn’t explicitly lie, I certainly represented it in such a way that would make them reach an erroneous conclusion.

    The movie itself is exactly what I expected after reading various reviews online; a mismatch of lies and propaganda. I leave the descriptions to more adept writers. I was ridiculous to hear the gasps of horror at some of the pieced together “quotes” from Dawkins, PZ et al. The audience seemed especially offended with PZ’s “religion should be like knitting” description.

    I couldn’t stay for the Q&A however, as I have some deliverables due next week that I need to work on. I’d be interested to read any accounts of that if anyone else managed to get in.

    I’m almost certain the change to 6pm was a filter mechanism after the PZ/Dawkins debacle. When the attendant couldn’t find my name on the list I mentioned that I had RSVP’d online, at which point he asked me “6 or 7?” I said that I received an email about the time change last week which seemed to satisfy him. I however didn’t mention that I got the screening has been canceled email.

  7. #7 ERV
    April 3, 2008

    Officially worried about Ken.

    Check in, man…

    Good job, Brad ;)

  8. #8 Gridman
    April 4, 2008

    So… why was Phoenix/Tempe singled out?

    Looking at the website, it seemed like all the other cities went off without this elaborate subterfuge. Anyone see any reports of this sort of activity elsewhere?

  9. #9 Ken McKnight
    April 4, 2008

    Sorry for the delay. It’s a long way from Arizona Mills to North Scottsdale. Don’t worry; I’m back and I survived. I wish I had known you were there, Brad, because I sure felt like I was the only person in the place with an IQ in triple digits. I tell you, seeing these people in their natural habitat is better than going to the zoo. I have some interesting things to tell you, but I’m a high school teacher and I have to get up early to teach 150+ sophomores. Brad told you the basics, so I’ll fill in the rest tomorrow (and yes I did stay for the Q&A, so I got some of the coveted Expelled swag!).

  10. #10 John Lynch
    April 4, 2008

    @ ERV

    Maybe Ken’s out having post-movie drinkies with “boughtbythecross,” “homeschoolma,” and “covenant-dad” ?

    @ Brad

    How full with the cinema?

  11. #11 Brad
    April 4, 2008

    Yeah, I felt the same way Ken. I felt like I was getting dirty looks every time I laughed at one of the ridiculous things that were said. I look forward to hearing how the Q&A went. :)

    @ John

    It was pretty full. I’m a terrible judge of group numbers, but I’d guesstimate at least 100; certainly more than in the email. If you’ve been to Arizona Mills, the upper section was roughly full and maybe 15-20 in the lower section.

  12. #12 Ken McKnight
    April 4, 2008

    It was quite an interesting adventure. When I first arrived at the theater I wasn’t sure if I would find anything or not, and it took me 50 minutes to drive there in rush hour traffic. I saw no one looking official, but I did see a family of five waiting near a cordoned off lane, the father speaking to an older man who had no obvious affiliation with anything. As the family moved through I approached and asked if this was the way to the Expelled showing, and he smiled and sent me to theater 24. There I joined a line of people who were being checked against THE LIST. My name was not there, but I had brought a copy of my confirmation. He read it a couple of times and looked a little dubious, but I smiled a lot and was dressed conservatively. I told him I was a high school teacher and was not representing any organization, so he gave me the go-ahead. I think Brad is correct that the change from 7 to 6 was a ruse to purge the roster of undesirables, but they outsmarted themselves because many of their attendees didn’t arrive until 7, and the host apologized to them for the mixup. I estimate there were approximately 90 people in attendance by the end (it was a small theater), but I was shocked how many families with small children were there. Perhaps a quarter of the audience was under 18. I overheard some interesting chit-chat before the movie. There was a strong undercurrent of hostility toward Richard Dawkins. Clearly, for the Christian right he is the face of the atheist enemy (sorry PZ–but they really hated you too once they saw you in the movie,so cheer up). How paranoid are these people? During the movie, someone in uniform walked up and down the aisle looking at the audience with–I kid you not–what appeared to be a night-vision scope of some kind. The host mentioned on two occasions that there were “opponents” to the movie who would do anything to ruin its debut. The director was not there; the host was a PR flak who identified himself as Steve Schmidt, a personal friend of the producer (who was also Schmidt’s former pastor, he said). He was a fount of interesting information. He still claims the movie is opening on 1000 screens on April 18. They picked Ben Stein because he has a 54% recognizability rating in the US. Stein was their first choice and he accepted, but they had two other people on the list. Someone asked who they were, but he would only say that one of them was Dennis Miller. He said they would consider the opening weekend successful if the movie sold 2 million tickets (earning $12-15 million). Their next projects are an 8 hour TV mini-series on this same topic and another theatrical release on the subject of “sanctity of life.” What came through clearly in the Q & A afterward was that their two main objectives were attempting to influence the state legislatures concerning school curriculum (Schmidt mentioned that Expelled had already been screened with great effect for several state legislatures), as well as to reach high school science teachers directly to teach ID without permission. My favorite question came from the little boy next to me, who asked, “What is your background in science?” Schmidt looked taken aback and said, “Me? I don’t have any.” As I was leaving the theater I turned to the little boy and said, “That was a great question!” That’s about all I can remember for now. Have at it.

  13. #13 Pao Chang
    April 4, 2008

    Well, “Houston, we have a problem” My jaw is agape(or is that Agape). I can’t believe what Ken is describing in his post. And this is the 21st Century??? I despair.
    It sounds like Ken was party to an espionage scenario from the cold war. Sneaking around like spies in the 1950′s just to see a movie?
    The ID people are “stranger than we suppose.” This is surreal.
    Pass the popcorn will ya?
    Pao

  14. #14 Inoculated Mind
    April 4, 2008

    Holy Mackerel! They walked around with night-vision scopes to check for recording devices? If people really wanted to record it, they wouldn’t do it at one of these screenings. They would do it on opening night in one of the theaters all around the country where they have no control and then put it online. Real paranoia.

    Ken, thanks for putting up this post about your experience. I’m very glad you complimented the kid on his question – he may not have been fully aware of the implications of this question, but it is exactly the kind of attitude that should be cultivated.

  15. #15 marc buhler
    April 4, 2008

    I used to kinda enjoy Ben Stein for the way he [correctly] pronounced my family name, making it easy to refer to *that* movie for those unsure how to say “buhler”.

    Now I am not so sure….

  16. #16 stuart denham
    April 4, 2008

    Hey Ken and Brad thanks a lot for posting your experiences. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a society that is as zealously religious as large parts of America seem to be. I actually think it’s pretty brave of you to go to the screenings given the outwardly hostile (and sometimes violent) attitudes these people take toward their beliefs. Kudos to both of you.

    Oh and good on ya Ken for giving that kid some encouragement. It’s a bit scary when kids are asking the questions most adults refuse to. Now where’s Bill Cosby when you need kids say the darndest things? :D

  17. #17 Confused
    April 4, 2008

    Didn’t you post that they shared the entire mailing list with everyone on the mailing list? Could it have been a fake cancellation email by someone trying to disrupt your event?

  18. #18 Inoculated Mind
    April 4, 2008

    Nope, we have multiple independent confirmations that they are telling people that screenings are canceled when they are not. Plus, the emails are coming from motive marketing.

  19. #19 Brad
    April 4, 2008

    Thanks for the write up Ken. I wish I could’ve stayed for the Q&A.

    I don’t really have anything to add on top of Ken’s account, but I will confirm that there was someone in the aisle taking, what I first thought were pictures, but soon realized weren’t. Ken’s hypothesis about a night vision scope sounds about right. I was sitting close to the front along the aisle and every 15 minutes or so she came by and pointed the thing down my row.

    Props to Ken for complementing the kid on his question.

  20. #20 Chris Hall
    April 4, 2008

    Ken says:
    “He still claims the movie is opening on 1000 screens on April 18 … He said they would consider the opening weekend successful if the movie sold 2 million tickets (earning $12-15 million).”

    Wow, that’s 666 people per cinema per day and according to Ken and Brad they got 80-100 people at a *free* screening. Schadenfreude is such a nasty emotion :-)

  21. #21 Elf Eye
    April 4, 2008

    Chris:

    666? 666!

  22. #22 factician
    April 4, 2008

    Wow. I *also* got a cancellation e-mail. I wonder if it was really cancelled.

  23. #23 rmp
    April 4, 2008

    666! yea, that is toooo funny.

  24. #24 Science Nut
    April 4, 2008

    Yesterday I got an email stating the Milwaukee screening was cancelled: “I am emailing to let you know that we have cancelled the Milwaukee screening of Expelled on April 8th. The Producers of the film are very busy preparing for the film’s release in theaters April 18th and due to unavoidable changes in their schedules, they are unable to make it out to Milwaukee for this screening.”

    They offered a consolation amusement of suggesting I visit their supporting materials website. For a truly tummy-turning experience that might rival a viewing, go to: http://getexpelled.com/downloads.php

    The “Leaders Guide” is a slick rehash of the DI-party line and the Power Point link takes you directly to …I kid you not…powerpointsermons.com!!! And here I thought ID was not about religion…silly me.

    You can also go to:

    http://getexpelled.com/ordermaterials.php

    There you may order the free* “Resource and Event Kit” (* about$14 S&H) and they’ll send you stuff…that includes an Expelled hat and T-shirt. I don’t know if the hat size is sufficient for someone with a sentient mind, but it would the apparel hit of the next science conference you attend.
    :-)

  25. #25 Science Nut
    April 4, 2008

    BTW….did you know Expelled had a song contest???

    Here is the winner and the 3 runner ups:

    http://www.expelledthemovie.com/games_songcontest.php

  26. #26 PZ Myers
    April 4, 2008

    The night vision goggles thing isn’t too big a deal — I talked to someone who went to a screening of The Matrix before it was released, and she said they did exactly the same thing, so that sounds like standard paranoia.

    They didn’t like my comment comparing religion to knitting? What? They don’t like knitting?

    (Although I just had a thought…what if they were all atheist knitters — then they’d be shocked for a different reason.)

  27. #27 SharonC
    April 4, 2008

    *Ahem*!
    There are knitters around here – we can be very smart and scientific sometimes!

    Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects

  28. #28 stuart denham
    April 4, 2008

    Did you just compare Expelled to the matrix in terms of anticipation warranting paranoia?

    Cmon your pz-fu isn’t that good :P

  29. #29 Ken McKnight
    April 4, 2008

    I have to tell you that there were several moments last night where I was tempted to stand up during the movie and give them a rousing chorus of “He’s the Dick, to the Dawk, to the PhD! He’s smarter than you. . .”

  30. #30 Duae Quartunciae
    April 4, 2008

    Wow. This is incredible. We were discussing this at an online forum, and a cruel idea struck me. If anyone is in a position to try this out, I’d be fascinated to hear the result.

    If there is someone who has received one of these cancellation notices but is able to check out whether it is simply rescheduled for the desired audience, perhaps they could try full disclosure, and see what happens. Think of it!

    Hi there. I applied online to see a screening to be held this evening, and received a confirmation, but then subsequently received an email indicating that it had been canceled. I also heard, from other sources not intended for me personally, that there was to be a screening tonight after all, but an hour earlier than originally scheduled.

    Here is my original confirmation notice for my first application. Here is my notice that my screening had been canceled. I have come here tonight to see if you will allow my original confirmation to stand or not. From what I have heard, I expect to be highly critical of the movie; but I would like to see it for myself so as to give it a fair hearing. Is that okay with you?

  31. #31 wheatdogg
    April 4, 2008

    We also got emails saying the Louisville screening at a local theater had been canceled because of a change in the producers’ travel plans. I had earlier called the theater to see if any private showings had been scheduled for that date, March 31. There were none. So I suspect the reservation was never made.

    Yesterday I learned that the promoters had screened the flick for free to students and staff at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary April 1. We received no notification of this change in venue, despite adding our names to the Louisville waitlist. SBTS even trumpeted the showing in a news release after the fact!

    Now I’m an educator at a school with “Saint” in its name, so I figured they might let me in (assuming they’re not monitoring my blog and my comments at SB — with night scopes). Instead it looks like I’ll have to shell out $8 to see the movie. (As if.) Seems to me if they’re really desperate to get kids to be “educated” about “evilutionism” they’d be happy to let teachers see a free screening.

    Instead it looks like they’re pretty mercenary.

  32. #32 Mike
    April 4, 2008

    Could we have an informal survey please on where this thing is playing? tp://www.mrmovietimes.com/movies/Expelled-No-Intelligence-Allowed.html
    My own pot shots show no release in Boston, Columbus, Cleveland, or New York, but one in Los Angeles. Akron OH is the only place where I’ve found multiple, two, bookings, which doesn’t surprise me. The Ohio evolution wars showed a high density of “teach the controversy” warriors in that region. Cincinnati also has one, no surprise. One in Orlando. I suppose this could still change after the initial release if the swift boaters propaganda team are successful at generating buzz.

  33. #33 PoxyHowzes
    April 4, 2008

    (spin)
    It’s true THE (singular) screening was canceled. We substituted TWO screeningS: first the audience was screened, then the movie was screened. So what’s your complaint?
    (/spin)

  34. #34 wheatdogg
    April 4, 2008

    The venues seem to change daily here. The list is different each time I check. So far, we have one suburban Louisville theater (really close to a megachurch, btw) and two near malls across the river in Clarksville and New Albany, IN.

  35. #35 Jim Lippard
    April 4, 2008

    It’s currently set to open in 795 theaters, as of this morning, according to their theater locator page. That’s up 144 since March 31.

  36. #36 Cheezits
    April 4, 2008

    They didn’t like my comment comparing religion to knitting?

    Yeah! What do you have against knitting??

  37. #37 MPW
    April 4, 2008

    He said they would consider the opening weekend successful if the movie sold 2 million tickets (earning $12-15 million)

    Spit take! You could easily count on your fingers the number of feature documentaries that have made that much money in their entire theatrical runs. Remove those directed by anyone named “Moore” and you cut the list at least in half.

    So the question is, Are they really this deluded or are they just spinning for Jesus? But that’s always the question with creationists.

  38. #38 Rev Matt
    April 4, 2008

    Just a note on the night vision scopes: they are becoming standard equipment in the theater chains these days to stop people from bootlegging hot movies. Either a) the theater has a policy to scope all audiences or b) the PR hacks found out about the scopes and asked to have their movie scoped to make them seem more important. I lean towards b. Though if I were a bored teenager working at a movie theater for $8/hour I’d certainly jump on every chance to play with the scope possible :)

  39. #39 Judith in Ottawa
    April 4, 2008

    There’s a huge on-line knitting (and crochet, and etc.)community called “Ravelry”. I can’t find the total number of members right now, but I know when I joined several months ago there were at least 16,000. It includes the option to establish and join groups related by other interests beside crafting. Not only are there 880 members in the Atheist and Agnostic Crafters group, but PZ has his own fan-group. It only has 21 members, but I think he should be allowed to count all the Atheists and Agnostics, too, right?

  40. #40 Scince Nut
    April 4, 2008

    While the web site…

    http://getexpelled.com/grouptickets.php

    …lists about 29 theaters in IL (many in the Chicagoland area) showing Expelled on 4/18, todays movie section of the Chicago Tribune (p.-3) does not list this movie amongst those opening on 4/18.

    The site http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/comingsoon.html also does not list the movie.

    This Excite site…

    http://movies.excite.com/MovieSummary.jhtml?title=Expelled

    …does a search on the movie and states:

    “Release date: (blank screen)”

    Hmmmm?

  41. #41 jeh
    April 4, 2008

    It’s a good thing they didn’t have guns attached to those night-vision scopes! I’m guessing it’s always open season for the “undesirables.”

    –Jerry

  42. #42 Bobby
    April 4, 2008

    We also got emails saying the Louisville screening at a local theater had been canceled because of a change in the producers’ travel plans.

    Yeah, the new plan was to travel without encountering any critical thinkers.

    “He still claims the movie is opening on 1000 screens on April 18 … He said they would consider the opening weekend successful if the movie sold 2 million tickets (earning $12-15 million).”

    Wow, that’s 666 people per cinema per day and according to Ken and Brad they got 80-100 people at a *free* screening.

    And that same 80-100 is probably the only people in town who want to see it anyway.

    The hypocrisy is stunning. Make a movie claiming to be ‘expelled’ for independent thought, then go overboard to expel anyone who isn’t going to agree with everything they say; pretend to be someone else when they interview scientists for the film, then whinge about people pretending to be someone else in order to get in to the screenings.

    Of course, that will be utterly lost on the people they’re trying to brainwash (further).

  43. #43 Friend Fruit
    April 4, 2008

    Anyone with extensive video experience want to comment on the genuininity of the following?
    Mike Huckabee endorses Expelled!

  44. #44 Nullifidian
    April 4, 2008

    It’s currently set to open in 795 theaters, as of this morning, according to their theater locator page. That’s up 144 since March 31.

    Their site claims that it will be opening on April 18th at the UA Horton Plaza 18, but Mrmovietimes doesn’t have anything about that, though it does show a listing in Long Beach, but none within 60 miles of where I live.

    So now I don’t know what to think. It’s entirely possible that the standard incompetence of Expelled’s producers has kept them from notifying independent sites as to when and where their movie will be opening.

  45. #45 Jason
    April 4, 2008

    Update: Brad was there and offers this report. The show indeed went on, despite being “canceled”.

    Update 2: Ken has provided his account of the event.

    Oh, please! Grilling attendees about church affiliation? Night vision scopes? These alleged accounts defy belief. Other than these bizarre, unbelievable parts, there’s nothing in these alleged accounts that has not been talked about elsewhere. I find them dubious at best.

  46. #46 Adrienne
    April 4, 2008

    Thanks for the “lying-for-Jesus clueless-conservative” perspective there, Jason. And now back to the serious commenters….

  47. #47 Inoculated Mind
    April 4, 2008

    Anyone with extensive video experience want to comment on the genuininity of the following?

    What a silly question. How can one question how genuine a video is, where you see the participant clearly endorsing a point of view on camera?

  48. #48 Jason
    April 4, 2008

    Thanks for the “lying-for-Jesus clueless-conservative” perspective there, Jason. And now back to the serious commenters….

    Posted by: Adrienne

    Thanks for the oh-so-original bigoted anti-Christian perspective there, Adrienne. Tell me, do you honestly, honestly believe some guy was walking around the theater with a night vision scope?

  49. #49 Adrienne
    April 4, 2008

    Jason, you clueless Christer wingnut, I have personally seen ushers in theaters here where I live walking around with night vision scopes (most recently the night of the “I am Legend” opening). And even if I hadn’t, the fact that the Expelled people have proven so paranoid and so inept at everything else connected to this movie, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least that they had resorted to this. So go back to your oh-so-original bigoted anti-PZ anti-atheist anti-liberal and pro-Cheezus, pro-stupidity and pro-wingnuttery blog hole and let the adults have a serious discussion on this thread, won’t you?

  50. #50 Hipple, Rev. Paul T.
    April 4, 2008

    You may be interested to know that God has a Plan to help the Expelled The Movie producers keep the riff raff out of the theaters, so that seats reserved for Select Christians are no longer wasted on Hedons and Stature Worshippers, and cetera.

  51. #51 Siamang
    April 4, 2008

    I once saw LBJ shake hands with Tom Hanks.

  52. #52 Siamang
    April 4, 2008

    Jason wrote: “Tell me, do you honestly, honestly believe some guy was walking around the theater with a night vision scope?”

    Yes. You know, you weren’t there. So I’m actually going to take the testimony of two people who were there above one person who wasn’t there.

    And yes, it’s commonly known practice that movie theater ushers screen for camcorders using night-vision.

  53. #53 Eric
    April 4, 2008

    If there were night vision scopes they were probably used to find pirateers recording the movie. The producers have been a bit touchy about this issue.

  54. #54 Adrienne
    April 4, 2008

    Hey Jason,

    Speaking of things that may or may not be believable: tell me this. Do you honestly, honestly believe that some guy named Jesus came to life again after being dead for three days (actually more like a day and a half, but whatever)? I think that story is EXTREMELY dubious at best.

    I find the story of guards using night-vision goggles at a movie screening to be way more believable, personally.

  55. #55 ed
    April 4, 2008

    “Didn’t I tell you that to fill in the Title Section of the Registratiuon Form as Pastor, or Youth Group Leader?

    Filling in the blank as Darwinist, Satan Worshipper, or Doctor of Anthropolgy, not so good.”

    Aren’t Satan Worshippers also xians, it’s the same belief system?

  56. #57 Adrienne
    April 4, 2008

    Actually, most people who claim to be Satanists (a la the late Anton LaVey) are actually more like agnostics/atheists in terms of belief. It’s more a “way of life” than a real religion. There is at least one group of Satanists, though, who actually believes in and worships Satan as a deity. Or so their website says.

  57. #58 Monado, FCD
    April 4, 2008

    Y’know, I think it would be worth passing these shennanigans on to a reporter for follow-up to the “Expelled” story. It seems pretty clear now who’s expelling whom.

  58. #59 Michael
    April 4, 2008

    On March 28, 2008 the site of “Expelled” had posted this…

    Due to unavoidable changes in the travel plans of the producers of “Expelled”, several of our screenings have been canceled or are being rescheduled to a new date or time.

    Now was Brad the only one so far who had experienced these changes? Time will tell, I’m sure in the world of internet blogs…

  59. #60 Adrienne
    April 4, 2008

    Y’know, I think it would be worth passing these shennanigans on to a reporter for follow-up to the “Expelled” story. It seems pretty clear now who’s expelling whom.

    Definitely. That, and play up the proof Wes Elsberry found of how they registered the domain for expelledthemovie before conducting the interviews with people like Dawkins and PZ Myers under the auspices of making a movie called “Crossroads”.

    It’s clear that for all their pretend piety, the people behind “Expelled” are, to borrow from Franken, “Lying liars who lie”. Isn’t there a commandment against that in that hol(e)y book of theirs, somewhere?

  60. #61 Siamang
    April 4, 2008

    Adrienne wrote:”I find the story of guards using night-vision goggles at a movie screening to be way more believable, personally.”

    Lol.

    What’s more believable to some people, that a dead magical dude came back to life, was really a god and a man at the same time, so didn’t really die, but also died for our sins, even though he was a god, which can’t die, but did, but didn’t… and you’re all going to burn forever in a magical realm where no-one ever dies if you don’t agree… so you better think he did… Oh, and did I mention that the only accounts we have were written by people who weren’t even there, in a time of rampant superstition, by people who believed in giants and unicorns and dragons and witches and demons and possessed pigs and magical cursed fig trees?

    OR…

    A dude in the 21st century used a battery-operated electronic device that costs about $100, that is in common usage in movie theater previews across the country.

    LOL. Makes my brain hurt to try and understand some people.

  61. #62 ck1
    April 4, 2008

    Does anyone know if they held the screening originally scheduled for April 1 in Owings Mills, MD? I registered for that one and got a confirmation, but assumed the screening was canceled based on the information on the movie website. I did not get any emails and did not call the theater.

    I guess I should not have expected further details since I made the mistake of registering with my real institutional affiliation (although I used “Mrs.” for my title).

  62. #63 bloggingisnotscience
    April 4, 2008

    Get a life John. Go make up some more just-so-stories.

    Learn about universal probability bounds.

    Learn about information theory, something useful.

    are you trying to equal Myers for useless science blogs?

  63. #64 Nana
    April 4, 2008

    “Does anyone know if they held the screening originally scheduled for April 1 in Owings Mills, MD?”

    I received a notice of cancellation on Mar 31…producers were busy… blah blah. It never occurred to me to call
    the theater to see if the cancellation was a lie.

  64. #65 Jim Lippard
    April 4, 2008

    #40, #44: My blog post on the theater openings looks at which sites do and don’t seem to recognize that “Expelled” is opening on April 18. Most movie release sites don’t have any record of it, but a few do. I’m not sure what the underlying reasons are, but their use of a small niche distributor might have something to do with it.

    The movie website is encouraging people to get groups together to rent out entire theaters for the opening. I wonder if any of the listed theaters are one-time events with private screenings being funded in that manner.

  65. #66 Friend Fruit
    April 4, 2008

    Tell me, do you honestly, honestly believe some guy was walking around the theater with a night vision scope?

    It seems more probable to me than a virgin giving birth, or someone rising from the dead. Jason, if you had the faith of a mustard seed…

  66. #67 Friend Fruit
    April 4, 2008

    #50: so that seats reserved for Select Christians are no longer wasted on Hedons and Stature Worshippers, and cetera.

    Heh.

  67. #68 George Cauldron
    April 4, 2008

    Oh, please! Grilling attendees about church affiliation? Night vision scopes? These alleged accounts defy belief. Other than these bizarre, unbelievable parts, there’s nothing in these alleged accounts that has not been talked about elsewhere. I find them dubious at best.

    Let me guess: and that’s exactly the basis on which you reject evolution, right?

    Jinx, go back to your PZ-stalking sites. The grownups are trying to talk.

  68. #69 Brad
    April 4, 2008

    One other thing I wanted to add about the movie itself, something which I hadn’t seen mentioned in the few reviews I read. While Stein is touring one of the concentration camps, he is being led around by tour guide who seemed to be a nice German girl and seemed to speak English fairly well, but obviously had limited fluency and vocabulary. At one point Stein intentionally confuses the poor girl by asking her about the “Darwinian and Malthusian influence” on Hitler and the Nazis to get her to admit that the Holocaust was all due to Darwin. It was just plain ridiculous.

  69. #70 Jason
    April 4, 2008

    Gosh, such intelligent, rational responses. “Go back to your PZ-stalking sites.” Ooooo! Feel the BUUUUUUURN.

    No wonder Expelled is such a big hit even before its official release.

  70. #71 Jason
    April 4, 2008

    I do have to give you guys some credit, though. No one who’s visited my blog has resorted to leaving vulgar, substanceless comments. You should all be proud of yourselves. That places you well above the typical visitors from PZ’s blog.

  71. #72 George Cauldron
    April 4, 2008

    Gosh, such intelligent, rational responses. “Go back to your PZ-stalking sites.” Ooooo! Feel the BUUUUUUURN.

    How many *do* you have nowadays, Jinx? You talked to your pastor about this obsession? It seems unhealthy, much like you harassing Skatje as a proxy for PZ.

    So why do you find using night goggles in a movie theater and screening viewers to be so wildly implausible, but the resurrection of Jesus to be so believable?

  72. #73 Chris Hall
    April 4, 2008

    Jason says:
    “I do have to give you guys some credit, though. No one who’s visited my blog has resorted to leaving vulgar, substanceless comments.”

    Or, any comments at all really – you must have wet dreams about getting this amount of replies to any one of your posts. I really like the story about the foetus found on the plane where the are four replies, three from you complaining about the one post and crowing about banning the poster – you’re pathetic.

  73. #74 Adrienne
    April 4, 2008

    Jason insipidly blabbered:

    No wonder Expelled is such a big hit even before its official release.

    Bit hit? No. Big joke? Yes.

  74. #75 Blake Stacey
    April 4, 2008

    They used night-vision goggles the evening I saw The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, for what it’s worth.

  75. #76 Chiefley
    April 5, 2008

    Ed asks… “Aren’t Satan Worshippers also xians, it’s the same belief system? ”

    It is true that Satan believed in Jesus, as such, that would make him a Christian.

  76. #77 Ken McKnight
    April 6, 2008

    This event only happened two days ago and it’s in Wikipedia already. (See: Expelled)

  77. #78 William Wallace
    April 6, 2008

    Quit trying to game the system, wait until the public R3L3AS3, and pay for your ticket.

  78. #79 Dennis (Not the Original) Hopper
    April 6, 2008

    Hey, Willy!

    Willy Wallace!

    Hey, man, like, could you please shove any advice you have up your lying ass? Or just anything you might be thinking about? The world has no need of more horses’ asses than actual horses, you dig?

  79. #80 Nana
    April 6, 2008

    “If there were night vision scopes they were probably used to find pirateers recording the movie. The producers have been a bit touchy about this issue.”

    That says a lot about what they think of their Church affiliated invited guests, doesn’t it?

  80. #81 Shoula
    April 7, 2008

    Regarding the public seeing Dawkins as the voice of atheism; they have a point.

    This is what they see. Dawkins DOES equate atheism and science, and goes beyond anything science is capable of when he makes that leap.

    That coupled, with his questionable remarks about “JEWS” are not helping science education.

  81. #82 Shoula
    April 7, 2008

    Nana, no, it says a lot about what they think of pirateers.

  82. #83 Randomfactor
    April 7, 2008

    Out of curiosity I searched the eXpelled site for a theater in my city–only one came up, a name I didn’t recognize in a zip code I know has no theaters at all.

    Checking the address, I realized which theater they meant, they’d just gotten the name and zip wrong. But if this is their level of accuracy…

  83. #84 Matt
    April 8, 2008

    they were probably used to find pirateers recording the movie. The producers have been a bit touchy about this issue

  84. #85 vermiman
    April 18, 2008

    Evolution is a religion. Christianity(creationism) is a religion. Evolution(life came from non-life) Creationism(life came from God). There is no concrete evidence of life forming or life being created. I am a Christian. Hypothetically if I die and evolution is true, I just die. But if I die and Christianity is true, oh what a blessed day. Now where’s your hope? If evolution is true, a n end of life. If Christianity is right, Hell for eternity. I choose Jesus.

  85. #86 Iggy
    April 20, 2008

    vermimam> So you were impressed with Pascal’s wager?

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