I’m gonna be a ☆ MOVIE STAR ☆

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Last April, I received this nice letter from Mark Mathis.

Hello Mr. Myers,

My name is Mark Mathis. I am a Producer for Rampant Films. We are currently in production of the documentary film, "Crossroads: The Intersection of Science and Religion."

At your convenience I would like to discuss our project with you and to see if we might be able to schedule an interview with you for the film. The interview would take no more than 90 minutes total, including set up and break down of our equipment.

We are interested in asking you a number of questions about the disconnect/controversy that exists in America between Evolution, Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement.

Please let me know what time would be convenient for me to reach you at your office. Also, could you please let me know if you charge a fee for interviews and if so, what that fee would be for 90 minutes of your time.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely,

Mark Mathis
Rampant Films
4414 Woodman Ave. #203
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
www.rampantfilms.com

I looked up Rampant Films. Yes, they are doing a movie called Crossroads, and it has perfectly reasonable blurb.

crossroads.gif

So I said, sure, I'd be happy to talk with you, and as long as any travel expenses are covered, I'm willing to do it gratis (academic, you know…we aren't used to charging big fees to explain things to people). They came out to Morris, set up cameras and gear in my lab, and we did an interview for a few hours. I got paid (woo hoo!). They left. I figured that, as a fairly minor figure in this argument, I might well get cut out altogether — they talked about also interviewing Dawkins and Eugenie Scott and Pennock and various other people — and that was OK.

Now we've got this new ID creationist movie, Expelled, coming out, and there's a press release with this claim:

Unlike some other documentary films, Expelled doesn't just talk to people representing one side of the story. The film confronts scientists such as Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, influential biologist and atheist blogger PZ Myers and Eugenie Scott, head of the National Center for Science Education. The creators of Expelled crossed the globe over a two-year period, interviewing scores of scientists, doctors, philosophers and public leaders. The result is a startling revelation that freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly-funded high schools, universities and research institutions.

What? I didn't do any interviews for pro-creation films, and I certainly haven't said that "freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry" aren't part of the university. There must be some mistake.

But then I noticed in the credits for the movie that a certain familiar name is the associate producer, or ass-prod, as I'll henceforth consider him.

assprod.gif

Denyse O'Leary also ties Mathis of Rampant Films to this movie, and this page from Expelled uses the same graphic that Rampant Films used for Crossroads. The case is closed: Ben Stein's propaganda film for ID is the one I was interviewed for.

Well. I guess I didn't end up on the cutting room floor after all, although I'm sure a select set of my words did. Unless, that is, the whole movie is me sitting in my lab, talking. It's real. I'm going to be featured in a big-time movie with second-tier character actor and game-show host Ben Stein. I bet my whole family is going to go out to the moving-picture theatre to see me on the big screen … and since my family lives near Seattle and the Discovery Institute is so happy about it, they'll probably have the opportunity.

I do have a few questions, though.

I'm wondering why the Discovery Institute would be so enthused about this movie. It lays it's premise on the line: science is flawed because it excludes god and the supernatural. It's one big promo for religion — which means it's going to further undercut Intelligent Design creationism's claims to be a secular idea.

Randy Olson points out that this is clearly a well-funded movie. It's slick, they're paying Ben Stein, they had to have shelled out a good chunk of money for the rights for the "Bad to the Bone" theme. Randy's probably wondering why he couldn't get that kind of money for Flock of Dodos.

So who is funding the movie? Some people with deep pockets are throwing quite a bit of cash at this thing, and I can assure you that it didn't end up in my hands. I think I was paid something like $1200. I should have asked for much more!

Isn't it a little ironic that a fairly expensive production like this is billing itself as representing the ordinary people, and is pretending to be the "rebel"? There's a bit of the no-expenses-will-be-spared (except in the case of their evilutionist dupes!) glitz about it — it really doesn't look like the work of some brave independent film-maker living hand-to-mouth while making his artistic vision manifest.

Why were they so dishonest about it? If Mathis had said outright that he wants to interview an atheist and outspoken critic of Intelligent Design for a film he was making about how ID is unfairly excluded from academe, I would have said, "bring it on!" We would have had a good, pugnacious argument on tape that directly addresses the claims of his movie, and it would have been a better (at least, more honest and more relevant) sequence. He would have also been more likely to get that good ol' wild-haired, bulgy-eyed furious John Brown of the Godless vision than the usual mild-mannered professor that he did tape. And I probably would have been more aggressive with a plainly stated disagreement between us.

I mean, seriously, not telling one of the sides in a debate about what the subject might be and then leading him around randomly to various topics, with the intent of later editing it down to the parts that just make the points you want, is the video version of quote-mining and is fundamentally dishonest.

I don't mind sharing my views with creationists, and do so all the time. By filming under false pretenses, much like the example of the case of Richard Dawkins' infamous "pause", they've undercut their own credibility … not that that will matter. I suspect their audience will not question whatever mangling of the video that they carry out, and the subterfuges used to make it will not be brought up.

Oh, well. I have two warnings for the creationists.

One, I will go see this movie, and I will cheer loudly at my 30 seconds or whatever on the screen, and I will certainly disembowel its arguments here and in any print venue that wants me. That's going to be fun.

Two, next time I'm asked to be recorded for a creationist propaganda film, I will demand more money, and a flight and a limousine to the premiere. They can pay for my tuxedo rental, too. And my hotel room will have a jacuzzi and a bowl of M&Ms — green ones only.

193 Comments

From the press release:

The incredible thing about Expelled is that we don’t resort to manipulating our interviews for the purpose of achieving the ‘shock effect,’ something that has become common in documentary film these days,” said Walt Ruloff, co-founder of Premise Media and co-Executive Producer.

Well, it looks like we know what level of honesty to expect from the film.

Well done on your big break. With this and the lawsuit, you’re becoming quite the household name.

Well, PZ, looks like you had the same experience I had. I also am willing to appear in productions that take a different side of an issue than I do, but I expect candor. My release says they can use “…footage and materials in and in connection with the development, production, distribution and/or exploitation of the feature length documentary tentatively entitled Crossroads…and/or any other production.…”

It’s the “and any other production” that I am sure they will call attention to. Yet there is evidence that this documentary was in the offing for over a year – possibly even a year and a half – and they didn’t know that the topic of the movie would be entirely different from Crossroads? Changing a title is one thing, but to change the whole subject of the movie from a general c/e theme to one of scientific persecution of those poor (but brave and noble)ID proponents against the Godless and dogmatic Darwinists, is quite a change.

One would have thought that by February or so of this year they might have figured out the theme. And then been a bit more honest with the subjects of the movie.

BTW, NCSE got a lot less $ for this program than you did! You must really be important! (Note to reader: it is rare to be compensated for being filmed for a documentary: I can count on one hand the number of times it has happened to me in 20 years, and still have fingers left over). (Further note: all my honoraria go to NCSE.)

My honorarium went directly to the University of Wisconsin Madison to pay a small part of my son’s tuition.

It gets even worse, PZ.

Sal is the audio editor.

Sal also did the editing for “The Lost Dutchman’s Quote Mine,” “Yours, Quote Mine and Ours,” and “That Old Gang of Quote Mine.”

Anticlimax! I thought you were going to sue them for 15 mill.

The tactics and pretenses used to secure the interviews certainly sound underhanded. I’m concerned that the movie/documentary will worsen the culture war and make good honest dialogue between the sides even more difficult. I guess time will tell.

Perhaps from now on, folks should demand a contract placing the entire interview in the public domain, and giving a complete copy to the interviewee, so that a copy of the tapes can be posted to show exactly what was deleted and what was selected. It wouldn’t stop them, but it would make for some entertaining video shorts corresponding to the classic “here’s what they quoted and here’s what they said.”

This reminds me of those college kids who tried to sue Borat for showing their racist comments in his movie. Since they signed a contract, there wasn’t anything they could do about it. I just hope that PZ didn’t make any comments that he might learn to regret (like some random pro-atheist comment that they could twist into saying that all ‘evilutionists’ think all religion should be ended).

As for bringing up Dawkins’ infamous “pause”, as PZ put it… the reason why it’s so infamous isn’t because they doctored the tape, but because he actually DID pause for an awkward, extended time. Here’s Brayton’s post from several years ago where he discusses looking at the original tape: http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/[…]cident_1.php

Tying this back to PZ’s interview… If they quote-mine or doctor the interview, then by all means slam them for it, and slam them HARD. But if they take something that was said and use it, in context, to make PZ (and by extension all who are pro-evolution) look hateful towards those who are religious, then you really cannot blame them for doing so. After all, they really don’t care about facts, just faith.

And I sincerely hope that PZ talked only about evolution and not atheism… because right now I’m imagining that Dembski, Behe and the others are licking their chops at the idea of being able to claim “proof” for the dichotomy that Christians must either choose faith or science. Simply put: Given this either/or choice, even the well-educated, moderate Christians will tend to put their faith above reason.

I just hope that PZ didn’t make any comments that he might learn to regret (like some random pro-atheist comment that they could twist into saying that all ‘evilutionists’ think all religion should be ended).

Doesn’t matter. If no such comments were made, they’ll create one in editing.

If they quote-mine or doctor the tape, Coin, then by all means… let’s slam them HARD for doing so, and not let them get away with it.

PZ– They came out to Morris, set up cameras and gear in my lab, and we did an interview for a few hours.

Average Joe would not be allowed to enter a research laboratory without some kind of approval (at least my laboratory where we’re working with pathogens and radioactivity). I really find it hard to believe that entering a laboratory under false pretenses wouldnt be against the law.

But Im just in a litigatious mood right now.

So who is funding the movie?

Someone who is not interested in funding scientific research.

The only time as a producer that you are ever allowed to be dishonest about your intentions regarding an interview is for purposes of a comedy (think the Daily Show or Borat), never for a straight-up documentary. I was disgusted to hear about this level of deceit.

PZ, did you get the feeling during the interview that there was any kind of slant to the questioning?

Phatty, IANAL, but if PZ’s release form was similar to Eugenie Scotts, then that part that goes “…footage and materials in and in connection with the development, production, distribution and/or exploitation of the feature length documentary tentatively entitled Crossroads… and/or any other production.…” means that from a legal standpoint, they WERE being honest… in that PZ knew (or should have known) that they had the right to use the interview for something that he wasn’t anticipating.

doctorgoo Wrote:

Tying this back to PZ’s interview… If they quote-mine or doctor the interview, then by all means slam them for it, and slam them HARD. But if they take something that was said and use it, in context, to make PZ (and by extension all who are pro-evolution) look hateful towards those who are religious, then you really cannot blame them for doing so.

I think we can blame them for fundamentally misrepresenting who they were and what kind of film they were trying to make. The audience will interpret the words of PZ et al, whatever the questions asked, within the context of the film’s theme. If the interviewees don’t know what the theme is, they have no way of knowing how certain answers are likely to be interpreted. That’s not to say they would have changed their answers, only that they would have emphasized certain points and clarified certain issues that were relevant to the actual movie that was being made, rather than the movie they thought was being made. For instance, had they known the true purpose of the film, I’m sure they would have made it clear that they do not condone persecuting the poor, abused ID advocates (not that anyone else does either – the whole thing is a giant farce). But given that they were led to believe that this was not the subject of the film, they probably made no such disclaimers, thus making it easier for the filmmakers to portray them in a negative light. The film’s promotional material suggests that PZ et al hold beliefs that they clearly do not hold.

In general, this is a really inauspicious beginning for a film whose fundamental premise is dishonest to begin with. It underscores the extreme mendacity of the filmmakers.

Well, PZ, looks like you had the same experience I had. I also am willing to appear in productions that take a different side of an issue than I do, but I expect candor. My release says they can use “…footage and materials in and in connection with the development, production, distribution and/or exploitation of the feature length documentary tentatively entitled Crossroads…and/or any other production….”

It’s the “and any other production” that I am sure they will call attention to. Yet there is evidence that this documentary was in the offing for over a year – possibly even a year and a half – and they didn’t know that the topic of the movie would be entirely different from Crossroads? Changing a title is one thing, but to change the whole subject of the movie from a general c/e theme to one of scientific persecution of those poor (but brave and noble)ID proponents against the Godless and dogmatic Darwinists, is quite a change.

One would have thought that by February or so of this year they might have figured out the theme. And then been a bit more honest with the subjects of the movie.

This is the sort of experience which makes me really annoyed when I see the sorts of “Christians never lie, why would we lie? God doesn’t like liars, it’s atheists who lie because they have no moral foundations” arguments all over creationism-evolution discussions. There was one on the BBC board today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion[…]read=4506429

and little issues like the lies told by defendants at Dover and this sort of deception apparently don’t count. Watching them jump through hoops to defend quote mining would be amusing if it wasn’t so pathetic. And no doubt it’ll be everybody’s fault but theirs that the pro-evolution contributors to this movie were misled about the intentions of the people who made it.

The only time as a producer that you are ever allowed to be dishonest about your intentions regarding an interview is for purposes of a comedy (think the Daily Show or Borat), never for a straight-up documentary. I was disgusted to hear about this level of deceit.

I believe Bill Maher was doing the exact same thing just a couple months ago for some sort of Dawkins knockoff documentary for HBO, actually. Though as far as I’m aware he didn’t set up anywhere near so many layers of deceit.

…and/or any other production…

Whats on either side of that quote is important. ‘Production’ such as promotional materials for the movie (commercials, trailers, internet media) is very different from putting you in a movie you did not agree to be in.

That phrase cannot be a carte blanche to put anyones likeness in a production without explicit consent. To be extreme, what if this was a movie supporting child pornography?

“We’re filming you for Movie X. We might want to put you in Movie Y in the future. You must sign an agreement for Movie Y if we ever do it.” would make sense. “We’re going to put you in any movie any way we want until the end of time” does not make sense.

Albion Wrote:

This is the sort of experience which makes me really annoyed when I see the sorts of “Christians never lie, why would we lie? God doesn’t like liars, it’s atheists who lie because they have no moral foundations” arguments all over creationism-evolution discussions. There was one on the BBC board today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbreligion/F2213235?thr

There must have been a sale on bigotry today. From Uncommon Descent:

Why would a non-theist be moral and remain a non-theist anyway?

Re: this whole “and/or any other production” issue… Any lawyers (preferably entertainment lawyers) out there who can clarify what this means?

Either way… this is just another example of why people should read and understand any contract they sign before they sign it.

If they quote-mine or doctor the tape, Coin, then by all means… let’s slam them HARD for doing so, and not let them get away with it.

Well, to be frank, how can we prevent them from getting away with it? It is of course right and necessary to “slam them” by whatever means available for what they’re going to do, but this doesn’t mean that said slamming is going to be sufficient to keep them from achieving their goals. “Not letting them get away with it”, in this context, means that once this movie is out, somewhere there is going to be a website refuting its statements and pointing out the places where it is dishonest. This is necessary, but from the creationists’ perspective is it really a loss? The film’s audience might well not find or want to find the website with the refutation, or might be shown the website but just rationalize it away as more evolutionist lies. A skeptical viewer would of course want to research the claims of the film to see if they are true, and so would quickly find and understand the bloggers or whoever dissecting the film. But such a viewer isn’t really the intended mark of a creationist documentary, is it?

I mean, I know there are websites out there exhaustively documenting the problems with The Great Global Warming Swindle, or whatever that September 11 Troof movie was that was getting passed around. But I still with decent regularity run across people who saw those films as real eye-opening experiences that everyone else would understand too if they just watched, naysaying bloggers be darned. These people “got away with it”; as what sounds like a relatively well-financed production I’m pretty sure “expelled” will as well.

It just seems to me that if one were the type to be particularly bothered by the existence of a website somewhere exhaustively demonstrating everything one says to be lies, then one probably wouldn’t have chosen to go into the field of promoting creationism in the first place.

No doubt the filmmakers wont care they’ll make their money. But I don’t know that the people like the denizens of UD are crowing about. One thing that seems to come through with many ex-fundie stories is that it was the dishonesty that hastened the deconversion. Every time a lie is put out there by the ID/Creationist crowd, it is seriously debunked by the reality police. This in turn makes it easier for fundies that are interested in the truth (and I think the majority of people are fair dinkum) to find the truth. This would be especially the case the media thinks it would make an interesting story.

According to some of the coverage that I’ve seen about the screening or promotion of this “documentary” at the DI recently, the film does claim that atheism provides no moral foundation for humanity, only God can do that.

It is funny how the producers have to lie and act so unethically in order to make a movie that claims that only people like them have morals.

Too bad we don’t have a reference copy of the interview to check for manipulations in editing.

Another phrase for such false pretenses is “bearing false witness,” and it is the phrase which seems most appropriate in this case. (I suspect Mark Mathis will claim that he did not, ultra-technically, lie.) No matter how anti-religious the producers make PZ look, it should be trivial to support the case that the producers are far more anti-religious themselves.

I’m sure that the Discovery Institute, honest and respectable scientific organization that it is, will be quick to repudiate the dishonesty involved in the production of this film. Right?

RIGHT?

Ben Stein has an introductory remark at the “EXPELLED” Ben’s Blog website:

http://expelledthemovie.com/blog/20[…]blog/#more-4

It says in part:

“This includes the ability to inquire whether a higher power, a being greater than man, is involved with how the universe operates. This has always been basic to science. ALWAYS. Some of the greatest scientists of all time, including Galileo, Newton, Einstein, operated under the hypothesis that their work was to understand the principles and phenomena as designed by a creator.”

Yes I do believe that Newton ascribed some unexplained motion of the planets to God and then God was knocked out of the explanation by Einstein. Ben went on to add:

“Operating under that hypothesis, they discovered the most important laws of motion, gravity, thermodynamics, relativity, and even economics.

Now, I am sorry to say, freedom of inquiry in science is being suppressed. Under a new anti-religious dogmatism, scientists and educators are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator. Do you realize that some of the leading lights of “anti-intelligent design” would not allow a scientist who merely believed in the possibility of an intelligent designer/creator to work for him… EVEN IF HE NEVER MENTIONED the possibility of intelligent design in the universe? EVEN FOR HIS VERY THOUGHTS… HE WOULD BE BANNED.

In today’s world, at least in America, an Einstein or a Newton or a Galileo would probably not be allowed to receive grants to study or to publish his research.

They cannot even mention the possibility that–as Newton or Galileo believed–these laws were created by God or a higher being. They could get fired, lose tenure, have their grants cut off.”

Sorry Ben, can you explain why Einstein operated within a framework not unlike today’s America where he did study, receive grants and publish? And Ben, wasn’t Galileo imprisoned by the church because he had to work in a world dominated by a theistic worldview? Might he not have fared better in today’s America?

Can anyone even verify that the Brilliant Ben Stein even wrote and signed this feeble reasoning?

Oi vey!

Reed– According to some of the coverage that I’ve seen about the screening or promotion of this “documentary” at the DI recently, the film does claim that atheism provides no moral foundation for humanity, only God can do that.

It is funny how the producers have to lie and act so unethically in order to make a movie that claims that only people like them have morals.

Reason #93864872365 I love my job: Yes, Creationists, PLEASE bring up ‘morals’ in conversation with me. PLEASE tell me, a life-long atheist doing cancer and HIV research to save your scummy radical theistic skins, about morals. PLEASE tell me about morals, while professional Creationists are sexualy assaulting kids, stealing from the US, the ‘moralest’ can only ‘contribute’ to humanity through pooping out a book every 10 years, oh prize pigs of morality. Yes, PLEASE talk to me about morality.

I want to hear everything they have to say.

Can anyone even verify that the Brilliant Ben Stein even wrote and signed this feeble reasoning?

Well, remember, he was part of the Nixon Administration.

…but those first few hundreds of monotheistic Jews who began worshipping a Man joyfully, to the point of death, because of their conviction that they had witnessed His fulfillment of this prophecy?

That’s pretty good, actually, but you’ll have to explain how that would be a test of “God exists, and he created this place.” As in, do you think that if the early church did not exist it would disprove the existence of God and His Creation?

AC:

I see you have no answer for how much falsehood goes into “false pretence”.

AC Wrote:

If their inteview does reflect this, then putting it in a movie about the scientific communitys contempt and disgust for ID is warranted.

Of course the scientific community has nothing but contempt or disgust for anti-science movements, and for its attempts to peddle religion for science education. That is not the issue here.

The issue is if the scientific process prohibits or even problematize that scientific ideas are presented or tested. But science has a long record of distinguishing between the person and the idea, and between faith and facts. It has also a vested interest in promoting good scientific explanations.

It is socio-political denialist movements that have made up their mind before confronting facts. Those are the ones that assumes that a movie will “expose the scientific communities snobbery of ID”, or assumes that the above described contempt was a preconceived judgment passed on the movement in question instead of a result of its own actions.

AC wrote:

“Just because they are surprised of the title change and the direction that the final cut of the movie took DOES NOT mean that their comments where misedited.”

Agreed. It simply means that they were never given the chance to object to the way in which the editing was done. I wonder why?

The point is that if the movie is attempting to show that scientists have contempt for creationists, about the only way they could make this come out in intervierws was to lie to the interviewees about the purpose of the film. Of course they could then take the quotes out of context to show the contempt without showing the justifiable reasons for it. Quote mining and out of contexzt quoting is common place for creationists. So much so that there is an entire section of talk origins devoted to it.

It is true, I do suspect the worst. It is true, I do have contempt for dishonesty. I have had enough experience with creationists to know that those who oppose real science deserve ridicule. If they don’t want our contempt, all they have to do is start behaving honestly, as the Bible commands.

I said Wrote:

…but those first few hundreds of monotheistic Jews who began worshipping a Man joyfully, to the point of death, because of their conviction that they had witnessed His fulfillment of this prophecy?

That’s pretty good, actually, but you’ll have to explain how that would be a test of “God exists, and he created this place.” As in, do you think that if the early church did not exist it would disprove the existence of God and His Creation?

Well if it were true that Christ fullfilled such a prophecy, a prophecy about His death,burial, and resurrection, then it would obviously prove that Christ is who He said He is, that is God. And if He claimed that the Bible is His Word, and in the Bible He claims to have created the world, then… we should believe Him.

As for your other question, I will have to think on that! Ttyl.

Quoting AC. ‘Well if it were true that Christ fullfilled such a prophecy, a prophecy about His death,burial, and resurrection, then it would obviously prove that Christ is who He said He is, that is God. And if He claimed that the Bible is His Word, and in the Bible He claims to have created the world, then… we should believe Him.’

Or alternatively he, or more likely others, fitted his story to fit the prophecies which were easily accessable at the time.

Records of a mans supposed life written well after the fact that could quite easily have been altered to fit old prophecies are evidence of nothing.

Incidentally, the ID movement isn’t reviled by science because it mentions the supernatural, it’s reviled because they try to push their nonsense into science without having any research to back it up.

Re Isaiah Chapter 53 verses 5 through 10 -

I wonder if those who call that a prophecy about Jesus may have neglected to read chapter 52 of that book?

That looks to me like a case of taking something way out of context.

Henry

Popper’s Ghost:

Sorry for delayed answer.

Popper's Ghost Wrote:

See what I wrote above:

Oh, it was a rhetorical question for once, I needed to vent. But thanks for the encouragement.

As per Henry J’s request, I will post in their entirety chapters 52 and 53 of the book of the prophet Isaiah which was penned circa 800 BC.

Isaiah Wrote:

1 Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall no longer come to you. 2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!

3 For thus says the LORD:

“ You have sold yourselves for nothing, And you shall be redeemed without money.”

4 For thus says the Lord GOD:

“ My people went down at first Into Egypt to dwell there; Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what have I here,” says the LORD,

“ That My people are taken away for nothing? Those who rule over them Make them wail,” says the LORD,

“ And My name is blasphemed continually every day. 6 Therefore My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day That I am He who speaks:

‘ Behold, it is I.’” 7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion,

“ Your God reigns!” 8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the LORD brings back Zion. 9 Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The LORD has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God. 11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of the LORD. 12 For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men; 15 So shall He sprinkle[b] many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider.

and…

Isaiah Wrote:

1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they[a] made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul,[b]and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

Was there really a Man 2,000 years ago that was crucified under Pontius Pilate whose followers gave their lives for their conviction that He had fulfilled this?

Was there really a Man 2,000 years ago that was crucified under Pontius Pilate whose followers gave their lives for their conviction that He had fulfilled this?

A man??? Those two chapters are talking about the city of Jerusalem.

Henry

I Wrote:

Was there really a Man 2,000 years ago that was crucified under Pontius Pilate whose followers gave their lives for their conviction that He had fulfilled this?

Henry Wrote:

A man??? Those two chapters are talking about the city of Jerusalem.

Isaiah Wrote:

3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

In the beginning of chapter 52 God is promising that He will redeem Jerusalem “without money” and “and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” and then in verse 12 He begins talking about how He will accomplish this continuing into Isaiah 53. In my opinion, this is clear. Please dont just write this off! Its your eternal soul that is at stake!

Jesus said, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:23-24

AC:

Whether people on this board have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior is immaterial to the matter at hand.

A few points that are:

From Mark Mathis’s initial letter.

We are interested in asking you a number of questions about the disconnect/controversy that exists in America between Evolution, Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement.

The brief summary of Crossroads. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/[…]ossroads.gif

From the Expelled press release.

The film confronts scientists such as Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, influential biologist and atheist blogger PZ Myers and Eugenie Scott, head of the National Center for Science Education. The creators of Expelled crossed the globe over a two-year period, interviewing scores of scientists, doctors, philosophers and public leaders. The result is a startling revelation that freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly-funded high schools, universities and research institutions.

The first selection is a rather neutral wording, asking for Myers’s input on the Evolution/Creation/ID “controversy.” To put this in perspective, imagine if I had written to interview you about the Jewish/Christian/Muslim disconnect regarding Jesus.

Selection two. Not just neutral-seeming, but going out of its way to not use loaded language. Continuing my previous example, you have looked up my documentary and see a description claiming that it looks at Jesus through the eyes of many religions.

Our final selection. No longer asking to discuss, this confronts noted scientists and shows that “freedom of thought has been expelled.…” This tosses aside neutrality, fervently embracing one side of the debate. Finishing my example, you stumble across an advert for the documentary film Cross Purposes that “confronts hardline Christians about their dogmatic view of Jesus.” Could you hazard a guess as to how your interview will be portrayed?

Taking Myers at his word, it does not sound as if he was confronted with anything. Having lurked on this forum for several years, I can attest that Myers relishes being confronted by those skeptical of evolution.

Having a neutral interview being touted as “confronting” the interviewee is a deception. Either you are deceiving the public or the person you have interviewed.

What’s with the “said” boilerplate? Wouldn’t “wrote” or “typed” be better?

Anyway, for an alternative perspective in the war on religion, take a look at this: World Net Daily’s Ben Stein to battle Darwin in major film

Regarding Richard ‘von’ Sternberg:

Having labored a mere few cubicles away from Dr. vS for awhile at NCBI, I can report that he was considered a bit of a creep by his nearest co-workers, noted especially for his frequent long and loud phone conversations with his wife, as well as for his deep-fried religiosity. This was all *before* the publication fracas, mind you. After that came to light, the fact that he worked in the *taxonomy* division of NCBI was especially galling. He certainly wasn’t fired, though; the only upshot I ever heard about was that his wife left him. I hope he isn’t going to blame that on ‘Darwinists’ too, in this upcming farce of a movie.

Around that time I began looking him up online, and found his connection to the Baraminology nonsense. One finds that the cagey Dr. vS claims to be something called a ‘Process Structuralist’ –

I defy anyone to parse ‘Process structuralism” as he presents it, such that it isn’t a smarmy, coy, and pretentious new stand-in for ‘Intelligent Design’ (which as we know, replaced ‘creationism)’, especially combined with his interest in ‘Baraminology’:

“I subscribe to a school of biological thought often termed “process structuralism.” Process or biological structuralism is concerned with understanding the formal, generative rules underlying organic forms, and focuses on the system architectures of organisms and their interrelationships. Structuralist analysis is generally ahistorical, systems-oriented, and non-evolutionary (not anti-evolutionary). Both creationism and neo-Darwinism are, in contrast, emphatically historicist with one positing extreme polyphyly (de novo creation of species) and the other radical monophyly (common descent). Since the structuralist perspective runs somewhat perpendicular to the origins debate, creationists and evolutionists tend to see it as inimical to their positions. The truth is structuralism has little at stake in the origins issue, leaving a person like myself free to dialogue with all parties. For this reason, I frequently discourse with ultra-Darwinians, macromutationists, self-organization theorists, complexity theorists, intelligent design advocates, theistic evolutionists, and young-earth creationists without necessarily agreeing with any of their views.

Structuralism does, however, provide an important perspective on the origins debate. Structuralists’ lack of commitment to an historical theory of biology allows them to explore the historical evidence more objectively. Moreover, because they focus on formal analysis, struturalists are far more open than neo-Darwinians to the powerful evidence for continuity within species (forms) and discontinuity between and among species. They also allow themselves to wonder about the cause of the amazing repetition of forms across the biological world rather than being forced by prior commitments to accept a major neo-Darwinian epicycle known as “convergent evolution.””

I’m sure they do.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on August 22, 2007 3:56 PM.

Alternative routes and mutational robustness in complex regulatory networks was the previous entry in this blog.

Creationists for genocide is the next entry in this blog.

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