Flunked, Not Expelled: Gaming the Movie Ratings

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Speaking of brazen antics, PT commenter Glen Davidson over on the AtBC forum blew the whistle by posting the “Expelled Challenge” FAQ. Apparently, these folks are running scared that their project will be little more than one step up from “direct to video” projects, and are coordinating mass attendance of students and their parents from literalist-Christian schools. They are providing what amounts to a kickback to school administrators for movie ticket stubs from attendees who go to the “Expelled” movie during its first two weeks in the local theater.

(Continue reading at the Austringer.)

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Evolutionists at Panda’s thumb are still bellyaching about the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and how it is being released with a promotional campaign. (Gasp. In the United States of Amerika?) They’ve most recently resorted to ... Read More

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A: The goal of the project is to help Christian groups be able to see the film. Funds for the Expelled Challenge will only be distributed to those who register through the Expelled Challenge website you were just on and on a first come, first served basis in the order in which they were registered. Bottom line, funds are limited – register as soon as you can!

LOL, if that is the goal of the project why only allow the rebate for only the first two weeks?

A: Not at all. HOWEVER, it is important for a movie to have a stellar showing at the box office on opening weekend. Therefore, we will only be able to accept stubs submitted within two (2) weeks of the movie releasing in your area.

Oh the truth comes out!

But the devious part is:

Also, funds are limited and will be given in the order in which the schools are registered. Deadline for registering is March 28, 2008.

People who are thinking that they can get funds for their school may be severely disappointed.

This has the look, feel, and smell of a Disco Institute swindle which could easily leave a bunch of gullible folks left holding the proverbial bag. Remember how the DI pretty much abandoned the Dover school board after getting them to institute a pro-IDC policy?

I agree with HDX - I think these schools are just going to end up getting used in this whole deal. Damn shame…

Five dollar kick back at the low end (less than 100 ticket stubs) to 10$ kickback for 500 tickets or more. This will erode the profit margin for the film considerably. Who is bank rolling this operation? Follow the money.

And why do Christian groups need help to see the movie? ID supposedly has nothing to do with religion …

Nevermind, schools can use the $5-10 to pay the court settlement when they are sued by outraged parents.

The trouble is, if the school gets sued because of a handful of activist teachers and / or parents, it hits the education of all the students. If one were going to sue, one would need to sue the individuals responsible for organising and promoting this farce - and these individuals may well not have the funds to cover the court costs.

Catch 22.

OK - So which one of you is going to see it and then report back?:)

This will just make it all the more laughable when the film flops.

Expelled: The Creationist Movie So Bad They Have To Bribe People To Watch It!

Stacy

If it is shown in my area, I will preview, but where a disguise, don’t want anyone to know I saw it. I plan to clap long and loud for the parts with Genie Scott, Richard Dawkins, and PZ Myers.

Yay!Thanks J.J.! I don’t have to go!!

Q: What’s the best way to get our school families to come out to the movies?

A: In speaking with Christian Schools, we’ve found that hosting a school-wide “mandatory” field trip is the best way to maximize your school’s earning potential. Send a field trip home with your middle school and high school students, have each child pay for their own ticket, then collect the stubs at the door once you get to the movie theater. With this model, you also will be able to benefit from the ticket stubs purchased by parents who choose to come as well.

Parents are already paying tuition(if private school) or taxes(if public) to support the schools their kids attend. If a Democrat or liberal group did something like this it would be call wealth redistribution and demonized. If they really wanted to offer something of value they could just mail out tickets directly to schools.

I keep using this phrase but I’ve never meant it more: “Just when I think these people can’t amaze me any more…”

Holy crrrrap! Have ID boosters ever done anything sleazier?

I’m going to regret asking that question, aren’t I?

What is the guarantee that they will pay the money?

Band boosters or the baseball team can pick up a good profit by investing in matinee tickets. You can buy 500 children’s tickets for around $3.50 each and get paid $5,000 for them. You wouldn’t even have to subject the kids to the movie, but you probably should offer them the chance to use the tickets.

A private religous school wouldn’t do something like that, would they?

If students of Christian schools are going to be discriminated against when they get to university, I would think that there would be especially good reason for them to view Expelled so that they would have an idea of what they may be up against later on. I have no idea what Ben Stein’s real motive is for promoting his film and I could care less. I’m not interested in a person’s motive for promoting something. Rather, I’m interested in whether or not what they are promoting is true or not. Stein’s basic idea is that serious discrimination exists within academia against scientists who feel that advances in science, or their personal research, is pointing toward ID. If Stein’s main idea is nonsense, I’d rather not see the film achieve success, but if it is true, then I think it should be promoted .… even funded and promoted by the Federal government in the interest of justice. The issue is whether or not Stein’s exposé is true or false, not who he promotes it to, or why he is promoting it.

The issue is whether or not Stein’s exposé is true or false, not who he promotes it to, or why he is promoting it.

Actually, if you could read properly you’d note that the issue brought up was “how” it is being promoted. The falsity of his claims have been much discussed on these and similar forums (try to keep up if you feel the need to comment).

Stein did not do an “expose,” either, he made a whole lot of accusations which have not been backed up at all.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/3yyvfg

Kirk Durston:

If students of Christian schools are going to be discriminated against when they get to university, I would think that there would be especially good reason for them to view Expelled so that they would have an idea of what they may be up against later on. I have no idea what Ben Stein’s real motive is for promoting his film and I could care less. I’m not interested in a person’s motive for promoting something. Rather, I’m interested in whether or not what they are promoting is true or not. Stein’s basic idea is that serious discrimination exists within academia against scientists who feel that advances in science, or their personal research, is pointing toward ID. If Stein’s main idea is nonsense, I’d rather not see the film achieve success, but if it is true, then I think it should be promoted .… even funded and promoted by the Federal government in the interest of justice. The issue is whether or not Stein’s exposé is true or false, not who he promotes it to, or why he is promoting it.

Kirk, when a student of, say, Liberty University attempts to transfer to UCLA’s Biology program, and is rejected because he/she has only taken creationism courses, technically, that is a legal form of discrimination, in that an establishment is free to reject anyone who does not, can not, or will not meet basic entry requirements. Starbuck’s is legally allowed to not hire a person who breaks out into weeping rashes upon contact with caffeine, tea or soy foam if they so choose. And it is the same thing with students of Christian Schools versus universities. If the students want to enter those universities that require all applicants to have a basic science education, and the aforementioned students have refused to get a basic science education for religious reasons, well, it is not the universities’ fault.

Ben Stein’s movie is a shameless, underhanded attempt to promote Intelligent Design, and slander Evolution. I say “underhanded,” as many of the scientists were lied to in the interviews, as they were under the impression that the movie, allegedly entitled “Crossroads,” was to be about the “intersection of science and religion.” And I say “slander,” too, as Ben Stein brings up the tired chestnuts of how Evolution is responsible for all evils plaguing mankind today, from the Holocaust to Planned Parenthood.

Kirk:

Is it discrimination to reject nonsense? (Sorry, but in a scientific context, Noah’s Ark qualifies as nonsense, and so does ID.)

If it were true that any advances in science really were pointing to ID, and given the fact that there is no published peer-reviewed literature that so indicates, then we would have to conclude that the entire scientific establishment is involved in a giant conspiracy to cover up the fact. Given that the practice of science exists in order to expose fact-based truth, this would represent a failure of the scientific enterprise as a whole.

Isn’t it far more likely that those who make such claims about the truth of ID are simply wrong? Given that virtually every advocate has been shown to have religious motivation for making such claims, isn’t it even more likely that they are attempting to usurp the good name of science to further their decidedly unscientific goals, as outlined in the Wedge document?

Cross-posted from AtBC:

I found Stein rambling on in typical incoherent bozo mode, here.

The most striking bit from Stein was this one, IMO:

Stein Wrote:

I think we say it can respond to changes in the world around them and that neo-Darwinians say it can only do that by random chance - it only happens by random chance. We say the cell may have the possibility of doing itself in an intelligent way that there may be some intelligence in the cell itself so that’s probably a big difference between the two of us. We, on this side, think at least there’s a possibility. We believe there’s some possibility the cell could have an intelligence of its own.

[Emphases added]

Now compare this to his accusation against real scientists:

Stein Wrote:

and the Darwinists have no theory whatsoever about the origin of life, none whatsoever, except the most hazy, the kind of preposterous, New Age hypothesis.

Yeah, sorry that we didn’t think about pre-cells or chemicals having some kind of intelligence. That would be real science.

Not to mention that he has no clue about the speculations and experiments of the abiogenesis researchers.

Then there’s this doltish claim:

Stein Wrote:

Science should always be in the business of attempting to disprove itself.

After that he projects that we’re trying to rationalize, when he can’t begin to support ID or to come up with any meaningful criticisms of “Darwinism”.

A bit of irony:

Stein Wrote:

Well, I would say it’s creationism by someone. For me, I’ve always believed that there was a God. I’ve always believed that God created the heavens and earth - so, for me it’s not a huge leap from there to intelligent design

Why no, it’s just not that big a leap after all. Sorry that I said it was (or did I?).

Here’s the guy “questioning” Stein:

Cybercast News Service Wrote:

There is a segment in the film, where it’s made clear that intelligent design can open up new areas of inquiry that could improve the human condition. One involves a neurosurgeon, Michael Egnor, and another scientist, Jon Wells, who indicate that given how the cells are put together, with eye toward intelligent design, and with the idea that animal cells have tiny turbines - or if viewed as tiny turbines - he was able to formulate a theory that said in the event these things malfunction and don’t properly shut down and could break apart, this is the first step on the way to cancer.

There you are Egnor, who’s as clueless as a mole watching a shuttle launch (at least in this subject), and Jon Wells with his tired turbine BS, which was neither really predicated upon ID, nor did it turn out to be correct. Apparently it’s in the movie, though, at least so far. Stein’s actually more sensible about this bit than the interviewer is.

Stein Wrote:

And I was just overwhelmed by the fact, at least as I am told, that Darwinists have never observed natural species being originated … There’s not even a clear definition of what a species is

You could probably overwhelm this ignoramus with the fact that a 10 km. asteroid has never been seen to hit earth and cause the devastation that “new age” scientists say would occur, and that stars have never been seen forming.

And of course the prediction of MET that species would not be a clear and simple category, due to evolution, becomes in this IDiot’s mind an argument against scientists.

Seems, too, that we’ve progressed from being Nazis to being Marxists:

Stein Wrote:

I think there is this kind of Marxist establishment in this country that has been overthrown in other countries, but not overthrown here. There is a very powerful Marxist establishment within the intelligentsia that does not allow questioning of its premises.

Glen D

Stanton:

Ben Stein’s movie is a shameless, underhanded attempt to promote Intelligent Design, and slander Evolution. I say “underhanded,” as many of the scientists were lied to in the interviews, as they were under the impression that the movie, allegedly entitled “Crossroads,” was to be about the “intersection of science and religion.” And I say “slander,” too, as Ben Stein brings up the tired chestnuts of how Evolution is responsible for all evils plaguing mankind today, from the Holocaust to Planned Parenthood.

Are you kidding me? He blames Evolution for the Holocaust?

Hmmm, moral relativism at work; ends justifying means, etc. Thanks, Kirk, for putting that in the public record where it cannot be deleted when it is recognized as inconvenient.

Now, to the point that Kirk says deserves our attention… IDC advocates are claiming “persecution”, and their three examples concern:

* A journal editor who, in the final issue he edited, shepherded an off-topic piece-of-crap review paper through a “review process” that caused the journal to revamp its editorial guidelines to prevent future repeat gaming of their system, then complained when his colleagues at his place of unpaid volunteer research failed to treat the incident as a positive thing.

* An astronomer who between being hired by a university and being denied tenure there failed to bring in any funding beyond a last-ditch $50K token from the Discovery Institute, slacked off on publishing research papers to write an IDC propaganda book, was involved in a high-profile, media relations gambit to falsely associate the Smithsonian institution with said IDC propaganda, included the IDC propaganda book as an item for consideration in his tenure review packet, then got upset when his colleagues did take notice of his IDC activities.

* An adjunct instructor whose contract didn’t get renewed. Why is her case special among all those hordes of adjunct instructors whose contracts didn’t get renewed? Oh, yes, she spouted off a bunch of clueless IDC drivel in classes that students were paying tuition for. Was that supposed to be a good thing?

IDC is not a legitimate field of human inquiry; it is just a sham aimed at evading clear precedent in the USA concerning inserting narrow religious doctrines into public schools. The IDC movement’s history does not just contain instances of bad behavior and political gaming; that is the preponderance of what they have delivered. IDC advocate efforts so far as engaging the scientific process makes the cold fusion community look like a bunch of Newtons and Einsteins by comparison. IDC began as a simple sham to try to get the same old “creation science” arguments inserted into public school science curricula, and the poor moral stance in which IDC was birthed seems to have corrupted all further efforts. One might consider it a modern example of “original sin”, though cdesign proponentsists try desperate damage control measures.

Why in the world should people participating in or aiding and abetting a sham aimed directly at infringing the rights of others expect to be accorded respect for doing so? The IDC movement would like there to be no consequences for their bad behavior and poor performance, and seem to be taking the brazen route of acting like there hasn’t been any bad behavior or poor performance. Sorry, IDC doesn’t get to be the Homer Simpson of science.

Stacy S. Wrote:

Are you kidding me? He blames Evolution for the Holocaust?

To be more specific, the claim is that belief in evolution and application of said belief (so-called “social Darwinism,” a rationalization used by the privileged to justify their social station) led to the Holocaust. This is akin to blaming the Beatles for Charles Manson (who took his inspiration from his own bizarre interpretation of “Helter Skelter”).

Kirk Durston–

Stein is lying through his teeth.

Look back on this board for threads discussing the cases he details. In every case, the ID proponents weren’t penalized for doing ID. They were penalized for refusing to play by the rules. Guillermo Gonzales knew perfectly well he needed to bring in grants and keep up his publications in peer-reviewed journals in order to get tenure. He chose to publish a book on ID instead. Now he’s screaming bloody murder because his actions had precisely the consequences that everyone TOLD him they would have. And so on, for all the other cases Stein details.

And, excuse me, sir, but students of Christian schools are NOT “discriminated against when they get to university.” Christian student associations are found on every campus in America, and usually actively encouraged by the administration. If Christian schools are giving their students poor preparation in science classes, they should improve their teaching, not bully American universities into watering down their standards so the poor Christian students won’t have to face just how badly they got led astray by their parents and teachers in K through 12.

Kirk said:

I have no idea what Ben Stein’s real motive is for promoting his film and I could care less. I’m not interested in a person’s motive for promoting something. Rather, I’m interested in whether or not what they are promoting is true or not.

Yes, but it is naive to think the two have nothing to do with each other.

Stein’s basic idea is that serious discrimination exists within academia against scientists who feel that advances in science, or their personal research, is pointing toward ID. If Stein’s main idea is nonsense 8<

How can it be otherwise, since there isn’t any science associated with ID?

The only discrimination is the refusal to let propaganda in a lab coat be treated as science.

Stacy S. :

Are you kidding me? He blames Evolution for the Holocaust?

Yes. Either he really is that stupid, or he let someone from Coral Ridge write the script for him.

Ooh, look, a bandwagon. Is there room for me, too?

Kirk Durston Wrote:

If students of Christian schools are going to be discriminated against when they get to university,

Only if they refuse to accept the evidence, and insist on giving equal time to claptrap and idle speculation.

I would think that there would be especially good reason for them to view Expelled so that they would have an idea of what they may be up against later on. I have no idea what Ben Stein’s real motive is for promoting his film and I could care less. I’m not interested in a person’s motive for promoting something. Rather, I’m interested in whether or not what they are promoting is true or not.

Well, let’s see if I can enlighten you: it ain’t true. I have no intention of seeing the film, but I know enough about it to know that it will be so full of lies and misrepresentation that people are actually better off not seeing it, unless they are sufficiently knowledgeable to notice where the truth is being twisted, distorted and murdered.

Stein’s basic idea is that serious discrimination exists within academia against scientists who feel that advances in science, or their personal research, is pointing toward ID.

Just shows what you know about science, i.e. nothing.

Nothing points to ID (that’s ID as described by Behe, Wells, Dembski and chums). There is no reason to accept any of their proposed conclusions. They have made no case. “ID theory” is the empty set, because the publications supporting ID do not expound any actual theory. All they say is “evolution is wrong, IC, SCI, improbability, therefore design” (this is, of course, an exputgated quotation from all of Dembcki’s publications, but I think commenters will find that I have captured the essence).

If Stein’s main idea is nonsense, I’d rather not see the film achieve success, but if it is true, then I think it should be promoted ….

Well, there you go, then - it is, indeed, nonsense. Does that mean you are now going to enjoy its lack of success?

even funded and promoted by the Federal government in the interest of justice.

What, like An Inconvenient Truth was? Sure.

The issue is whether or not Stein’s exposé is true or false, not who he promotes it to, or why he is promoting it.

Actually, the latter can give you some insight into the former. If he has produced a genuinely insightful documentary, I would expect him to be on the phone to the Discovery Channel and National Geographic and Nature and Science. If he has produced some politically-motivated and factually-challenged propaganda, then I would expect hgim to be marketing it at his target demographic, i.e. Christian fundies.

Oh, look.

Oh, and there is no issue about whether it is true or false. Given that the producers lied to PZ to get an interview with him, how likely do you think it is that it will be a balanced and factual account, hmm?

If anybody is still reading this thread, please read this. It may be important.

There is a thread on Pharyngula right now, “Expelled: not even released and already a flop.” Post #78 is by Brian McEnnis of ohioscience.org. Brian went to see the Expelled “road show” sometime last month. He says that at one point, “We got to see lovely pictures of “molecular machines” while the “expert” made whooshing noises to convince us just how complicated everything was.”

Now my question is, where did Stein get those “lovely pictures of ‘molecular machines’” if it wasn’t the same tape that the Disco Institute pirated from Harvard? There was some question that William Dembski and the DI couldn’t be prosecuted for film piracy because they’re technically not for profit. But if Stein is using the Harvard tape to advertise a commercial movie.…

Hoary Puccoon, any chance you could supply a link?

Sorry, Nigel, I’m not very computer-literate. If you go to the Pharyngula thread I mention above (under scienceblogs.com/pharyngula for those who aren’t familiar with scienceblogs) Brian Ennis has a link to an audio tape of the Expelled “road show” under www.ohioscience.com. But since the narrator at the road show just made whooshing noises, it isn’t clear if it’s the same tape the DI pirated from Harvard.

I don’t have any proof that Stein used the pirated Harvard material. I just find it very strange that Stein, making a low-budget movie, would have presumably expensive high-tech animation for his publicity tour, and that that high-tech animation fits the description of animation we know the DI has already used without permission.

For anyone who saw the video that Stein is showing, the Harvard video is here on pandasthumb for comparison, under the thread “DI:expelled for plagiarism.”

I have looked at the Harvard video posted at DI-Expelled for Plagiarism. There’s nothing in that video that I recognize as being used in the Expelled road show.

Okay, sorry for the false alarm. At the time Dembski used the Harvard video, the DI claimed they couldn’t find anything similar to use.

I cannot believe that we are even having to go and talk about what Christians need it is so obvious to everyone that Christians no longer matter. Mr. Stein is clearly being paid off by those who think God is real. Look this is Christians trying to stay relevant and not fade away. There is a big problem and that obvious problem is that proponents of ID(Idiotic Devotion) don’t want To see the truth that they do not matter anymore and do not even get it period. We should just go and ignore creation theory and intelligent design and then they will see that creationism and idiotic intelligent design are just a bunch of fucking lies.

re: “Kirk, when a student of, say, Liberty University attempts to transfer to UCLA’s Biology program, and is rejected because he/she has only taken creationism courses, technically, that is a legal form of discrimination, in that an establishment is free to reject anyone who does not, can not, or will not meet basic entry requirements.”

What you claim here as a hypothetical is demonstrably false, not even a good straw man fallacy. On what grounds do you claim that Liberty University biology students have “only taken creationism courses?” All you have to do is visit the University course catalog under Biology to disabuse yourself from such silly notions of what “Christian schools” teach vs “Universities.” I enclosed a link to the course catalog for your convenience. I just googled it; it really wasn’t that difficult. You can find biology beginning on p. 58. You’ll find courses like: Zoology, Genetics, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Cell Biology. Strangely enough, no biology courses seem to fall into your category of creationism courses. Actually, if you were to look into which textbooks were used, you’d find they are the same ones used in [real] (by implication) Universities as you call them. They don’t simply publish their own science textbooks as you may think.

I am curious how many such courses you think they even offer that meet your category? I’ll give you the answer. p. 161 – 2! One is an elective. The other is required of all students regardless of their major. Hardly enough to graduate and apply to UCLA with.

Now as for “ If the students want to enter those universities that require all applicants to have a basic science education, and the aforementioned students have refused to get a basic science education for religious reasons, well, it is not the universities’ fault.”

You clearly have no idea what they are teaching “the aforementioned students,” and it appears you don’t much care.

You may have a point to make, but you have undermined your credibility with such ludicrous misrepresentations of what is taught at such Christian educational institutions as Liberty University. Rather than knocking down a straw man, why not actually debate on the facts. You would obviously be surprised to find out that biology, nursing, chemistry, pre-med, etc. students from Liberty actually do receive quite more than “a basic science education,” that you claim they even missed out on.

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This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on January 16, 2008 6:45 AM.

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