CBS13: Man Interviewed In Movie Not Allowed To See It

| 36 Comments

From CBS13

An associate professor at the University of Minnesota was expelled from a free screening of the movie “Expelled.”

P.Z. Meyers was interviewed in “Expelled,” and even thanked in the movie’s credits. When he tried to watch the film, however, he was kicked out 15 minutes before it started.

Myers is an atheist. The movie argues that schools should teach creationism as an alternative to evolution.

Wow, short and to the point.

36 Comments

In all fairness, does the movie really say that they “should teach creationism as an alternative to evolution”? If they all they say is that that the “strengths and weaknesses” should be taught, then the proper response is “sure the strengths and weaknesses should be taught, but not as misrepresented by the activists who flunked, then whine about being expelled.” Unless they used the C-word themselves, it makes no sense to take the bait.

And they still manage to mis-spell PZed’s name.

At least they didn’t spell it “Meyer.”

If the “Expelled” gang had a sense of humor they could have rubbed it in to PZ by saying, “sorry, the registration is for a ‘Steve’.”

Teach the strengths and weaknesses of gravity - some people think it’s Intelligent Falling, after all.

But seriously.…

CBS13 simply cut to the chase. The Discovery Institute and their allies are trying to set up a false scientific controversy where none exists; zero peer-reviewed research papers have resulted from ID or “creation science” so this is very clear. Thus, they are arguing for teaching a false controversy that promotes a view based on special creation (see Of Pandas and People).

In all fairness, does the movie really say that they “should teach creationism as an alternative to evolution”? If they all they say is that that the “strengths and weaknesses” should be taught, then the proper response is “sure the strengths and weaknesses should be taught, but not as misrepresented by the activists who flunked, then whine about being expelled.” Unless they used the C-word themselves, it makes no sense to take the bait.

Frank: Although the movie is supposed to be about ID and how anyone who questions evolution (i.e. scientists) could find themselves isolated within the scientific community etc., don’t forget that Stein has been promoting the movie at AiG’s creation museum, met with ken Ham, had his photograph taken with Ken Ham etc. etc. etc. Now according to Ham, Stein is not a YEC but surely it should be clear where Stein’s sympathies lie. As in the Dover case, it seems to me that every time you scrutinise ID closely enough it always seems to lead back to YECism.

I am more interested that this was an Associated Press blurb.

Peter wrote:

“Stein has been promoting the movie at AiG’s creation museum, met with ken Ham, had his photograph taken with Ken Ham etc. etc. etc. Now according to Ham, Stein is not a YEC but surely it should be clear where Stein’s sympathies lie.”

I guess that is where this movie will eventually wind up, the YEC museum. Then they can charge admission and deny entry to anyone they want.

Frank J,

LOL Good one.

Peter Henderson Wrote:

As in the Dover case, it seems to me that every time you scrutinise ID closely enough it always seems to lead back to YECism.

Sure, YECs are the ones they most want to impress (not that they need to), but it’s interesting that you mention how Stein is not a YEC, but has political sympathy toward them. That is typical for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” IDers, as opposed to classic OECs, who seem to honestly believe what they promote. And of course Dover once and for all linked classic creationism (YEC and OEC), ID and the designer-free phony “critical analysis” in terms of what they promote, if not in terms of what the promoters privately believe.

My point though, is only that if we carelessly insert the word “creationism” where it was not used, without clearly stating the different definitions, and exposing how the activists’ bait-and-switch them we come across as ignorant, closed-minded or both. A well-rehearsed activist’s retort of “we don’t advocate teaching Genesis, only the strengths and weaknesses of evolution” will be difficult to impossible to top in a battle of sound bites.

My point though, is only that if we carelessly insert the word “creationism” where it was not used, without clearly stating the different definitions, and exposing how the activists’ bait-and-switch them we come across as ignorant, closed-minded or both. A well-rehearsed activist’s retort of “we don’t advocate teaching Genesis, only the strengths and weaknesses of evolution” will be difficult to impossible to top in a battle of sound bites.

I disagree. It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and lays eggs like a duck, so let’s call it Creationism. The ‘teaching the weaknesses of evolution’, ‘teach the controversy’ is a canard of the creationists and has been since day one. If a a well-rehearsed activist retorts “we don’t advocate teaching Genesis, only the strengths and weaknesses of evolution” that’s an opportunity to educate the audience on the history of creationism/scientific creationism/intelligent design/teach the controversy/academic freedom etc. The response should be thought out and well rehearsed but we don’t need to fight on their chosen battleground using only the weapons they want us to use.

Quidam Wrote:

I disagree. It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and lays eggs like a duck, so let’s call it Creationism.

2 years ago, after 3 years of trying, I gave up trying to call it something else. But just calling it “creationism” without explaining how ID activists bait and switch 2 senses of the term plays right into their hands. Unlike you and I, who have followed the antics of the activists, most people hear “creationism” and think “honest belief that modern humans were created intact less than 10000 years ago,” and not “any strategy that promotes unreasonable doubt of evolution, and proposes a design-based non-explanation in its place.” Once they are clear that “creationism” for all practical purposes, has come to mean the latter, then I’m fine with using the term.

How many people know that Michael Behe, chief promoter of the “new creationism,” does not believe that “modern humans were created intact less than 10000 years ago,” but rather believes that we are related to most or all other species, in a 3-4 billion year “tree of life”? Or that none of the major IDers who seem to believe the former, or some intermediate alternative, never challenge him directly, as any real scientist would be eager to do?

Who knows what Behe thinks? Or even cares. Quite where God inserts his finger into the cell and the actual role of evolution in his worldview is irrelevant. His brand of magic is slightly more sane that Ken Ham’s but both are supernatural creationism and neither is science so neither belong in a classroom.

The person they are trying to reach isn’t interested in subtleties, they simply want to know that if they say “I’m not descended from a monkey’ that it’s respectable and that they won’t be ridiculed as they would be if they said the Earth was flat. That’s the real impact of the creationist movement over the last 30 years - it has allowed people not to be embarrassed to proclaim their creationism, because “we’re legit, we have museums, and real scientists with white coats, PhD’s ‘n everything.”

Creationist (in all its incarnations) needs to be a term of ridicule so that average people won’t describe themselves that way for fear of being embarrassed.

Who knows what Behe thinks?

Don’t get ahead of the proper scientific method, there, Quid.

Before we can determine what Behe thinks, we must first establish that he thinks, which, as the lawyers are quick to point out, is an assumption of facts not in evidence.

stevaroni:

Who knows what Behe thinks?

Don’t get ahead of the proper scientific method, there, Quid.

Before we can determine what Behe thinks, we must first establish that he thinks, which, as the lawyers are quick to point out, is an assumption of facts not in evidence.

Hahahahahahahaha

We all know what Behe thinks it’s on the public record. Remember the cross examination in Dover?

Behe stated point blank “he thinks” god might be dead!

He thinks “Wouldn’t it have been be nice to speak to (that dead) god; as he drove down some stupid road past a bunch of palm readers”.…god f’n owl mitey, on a witness stand!!!.

He thinks there is no research to show how the immune system evolved.…head in the sand IDist on board calling earth here.

He thinks he did a sterling job of showing those anti dreaming empiricists aka evilutionaries that .…erm “real facts” as dished up by his subconscious and spoken out loud on the witness stand as though they .…were truth as in ..er true. They can’t even get ‘spin’ right. If he was Rumsfeld he would have had to fall on his sword.

Behe does not know the difference between thinking and zoning out on self manufactured hallucinogens.

If there was a god, she is just making it too easy for creationists to lose.

Quidam said:

Who knows what Behe thinks? Or even cares.

Since the IDers are so intent on maintaining a big tent of anti-Darwinism (thus their “ID doesn’t inquire into the nature of the designer” BS), Frank thinks it would be a good idea to toss a few grenades into the group by pointing out just how much they disagree with each other. If it comes to an issue with Ken Ham and his crew present that Behe thinks using the Bible as a science text is silly, I guarantee Ham will care.

Sometimes, the most effective way to coach is to do what you know your opponent doesn’t want you to do.

Simply teach the controversy. Use it as an example of religious dogma gone amok in an attempt to create a false controversy where none exists. Teach it as an example of propaganda because it has been shown to be that legally in court.

Enjoy.

Most at AiG are already pretty dubious about the ID movement

Dr Georgia Purdom, AiG:

However, the major problem with the ID movement is a divorce of the Creator from creation. The Creator and His creation cannot be separated; they reflect on each other.

In today’s culture, many are attracted to the ID movement because they can decide for themselves who the creator is—a Great Spirit, Brahman, Allah, God, etc. The current movement focuses more on what is designed, rather than who designed it. Thus, leaders in the movement do not have problems with accepting an old age for the earth or allowing evolution to play a vital role once the designer formed the basics of life.

Proponents of ID fail to understand that a belief in long ages for the earth formed the foundation of Darwinism. If God’s Word is not true concerning the age of the earth, then maybe it’s not true concerning other events of the Creation Week; and maybe God was not a necessary part of the equation for life after all.

Without the framework of the Bible and the understanding that evil entered the world through man’s actions (Genesis 3), God appears sloppy and incompetent. People ask why God is unable to prevent evil from thwarting His plans, resulting in such poor design, instead of understanding that because of the Fall there is now a cursed design.

God’s role as Creator is foundational to His role as Redeemer. In addition, because the ID movement does not acknowledge God as Redeemer, there seems to be no final solution for the evil in this world; and by all appearances it will continue to reign supreme.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/art[…]ign-movement By making sure that ID Creationism is always called “Intelligent Design Creationism” it realy annoys the True Creationists as well as the CDesign Proponentists like the Discovery Institute. ID Creationism is not Christian enough for the evangelicals and too Christian to be taught as science. Being able to piss off the entire “Big Tent” with a simple phrase can’t be a bad thing.

I’m glad to see the little blurb pulling no punches about what went on, and what the Expelled makers are up to, but it was pretty weakly written even for such a modest scrap of journalism - and worst, the last paragraph plays right into the evolution denialists’ hands. That P.Z. is an atheist is far less relevant than that he is a biologist and a prominent critic of the creationist movement(s), but neither of those latter two facts is mentioned. That sentence almost seemed to take its cue from the “our evolutionist critics are all atheist, anti-religion crusaders” section of the ID catechism (and the Expelled script). This leads me to strongly suspect that the blurb’s bluntness has less to do with brute honesty, and more to do with a hurried, sloppy inattention to possible nuances.

But in this case it did happen to end up in a win, on balance - so, qualified yay and all.

AIG:

If God’s Word is not true concerning the age of the earth, then maybe it’s not true concerning other events of the Creation Week; and maybe God was not a necessary part of the equation for life after all.

AIG said it, not me. No matter how AIG spins it, the earth is 4.5 billion years old and the universe is 13.7 billion years old.

By making believing obviously false and impossible things a litmus test, they will ultimately lose most of their followers. And they will do some serious damage to the religion.

A lot of fundies dropped their religion or changed sects when they could no longer buy 2 pages of 4,000 year old mythology as adequately describing the universe.

I’m not sure how many denominations made geocentrism a litmus test. The RCC did but they changed their mind in a hurry. This will play out like geocentrism. We are in the second century of the spread of biological knowledge with two centuries to go.

Quidam Wrote:

The person they are trying to reach isn’t interested in subtleties, they simply want to know that if they say “I’m not descended from a monkey’ that it’s respectable and that they won’t be ridiculed as they would be if they said the Earth was flat.

I think we differ on what is meant by “trying to reach.” The “I don’t come from no monkey” crowd will be throwing money at the movie to get their fix. No need to advertise to them, except to make sure that they come away with, and pass on, less sloppy sound bites (IOW, doing their dirty work, and paying them instead of being paid for it!). But the producers will be (if not yet, with their religious schools campaign) seeking a wider audience that hasn’t given it much thought.

Classic creationism (YEC and OEC) failed as science (no evidence), as a strategy (mutual contradictions got in the way) and as an education plan (church-state issues). So a new “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach is trying to seduce a more general audience that would otherwise find YEC and OEC unconvincing, but is nevertheless willing to believe that mainstream science is involved in a massive conspiracy. They’re more likely to (uncritically) say “I hear the jury’s still out on evolution.”

My fear is that we’re putting too much emphasis on the religious right “tip of the iceberg.”

Actually I think we agree more than you suggest. What the ID creationist movement is aiming to do is to present IDC as legitimate science to the middle of the road Christians who would otherwise (as they do in the UK and most other countries) accept the science of evolution as given as they do nuclear science. I think that 90% or more of the population have very little idea about the science of evolution, how it ties in with geology, paleontology, physics, chemistry etc. to form a coherent and mutually confirming web of understanding forming the foundation of modern science. But if they can say to themselves “There are legitimate reasons to doubt Darwinism, see - all these scientists disagree and now some are being suppressed, it’s obviously not proven so I’m justified in my beliefs” or as you point out: “I hear the jury’s still out on evolution.”

Most people are afraid of looking stupid (young earth creationists excepted, they’re too used to it), IDC is the smoke screen to allow the middle to feel respectably justified. Ridicule is a powerful weapon.

This bit from a side panel is odd:

Myers tried to attend a free screening of the movie “Expelled” on Thursday at at a Wisconsin mall. But the film’s promoters expelled him. AP

The lat time I checked, the Mall of America was in Minnesota, not Wisconsin.

Over at NewScientist, Amanda Gefter, opinion editor and her colleague Maggie, report on their experiences at another pre-screening event of Expelled: No intelligence allowed, calling it “more like a pro-religion, pro-intelligent design propaganda film that looks like a bad Michael Moore rip-off” and “I’m hopeful that anyone with the least bit of intelligence (no pun intended) will see straight through the film’s hokey attempts to distract viewers from the lack of scientific credibility with appeals to their emotions - like the dark lighting, foreboding music and harsh camera angles that set the scene for Stein’s interview with - dun dun dun - biologist Richard Dawkins, an avowed atheist”.

But the best bit of the blog is where they talk of the Q & A session at the end … see http://www.newscientist.com/blog/sh[…]ilenced.html

Missing a couple of words:

An associate professor at the University of Minnesota was expelled from a free [private] screening of the movie “Expelled.”

P.Z. Meyers was interviewed in “Expelled,” and even thanked in the movie’s credits. When he tried to watch the film, however, he was kicked out 15 minutes before it started. [PZ has yet to demonstrate that he was invited to the private screening].

Myers is an atheist. The movie argues that schools should teach creationism as an alternative to evolution.

re: Wallace -missing a couple of words-

What is your point? No Atheists allowed? If not, why not? Unless, of course you are admitting that both you and the “expeller” are religious bigots.

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 5, column 352, byte 1306 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

William Wallace:

Missing a couple of words:

An associate professor at the University of Minnesota was expelled from a free [private] screening of the movie “Expelled.”

P.Z. Meyers was interviewed in “Expelled,” and even thanked in the movie’s credits. When he tried to watch the film, however, he was kicked out 15 minutes before it started. [PZ has yet to demonstrate that he was invited to the private screening].

Myers is an atheist. The movie argues that schools should teach creationism as an alternative to evolution.

You seem to be mistaken, Willy. The “private screening” was, according to the film’s website, open to anyone who RSVPed on the website. PZ did so. He received confirmation. He did everything above the table, following the same rules everyone else at the screening did. So if you’d like to claim that PZ should not have been allowed under those criteria, then everybody else who went to the showing should have been banned.

… or the producers are simply dishonest.

I’m going with “B”.

Quidam:

If you registered on their web site to receive updates then you received an invitation: “You and your guests are invited to attend one of the free screenings in a city near you” sure sounds like an invitation. What’s obvious (to me at least) is that every other attendee knows that to be the case. Not one of them received anything other than a general invitation. No personal hand-written invitation from Mathis, just an email. The invitation didn’t say “You and your guests are invited to attend one of the free screenings in a city near you, unless you are a godless evolutionist, in which case you will have to wait until fall 2009 when we get our copyright issues sorted out.”

Stuart Blessman the innocent bystander, seemed to think that a third-hand invitation was sufficient invitation for him, but that PZ & Dawkins should have known the invitation wasn’t really meant for them.

I’m Stuart Blessman and I’m a student at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities involved with a campus outreach ministry. Our head pastor was recently offered two pairs of tickets to go see an advanced screening of Ben Stein’s “Expelled”, but had to instead pass the tickets to an associate pastor, who then offered one of them to me.

Now that’s a genuine invitation!

Can’t terminate <blockquote> with </quote>.

If I wanted to make a propaganda piece like “Expelled” I’d want outspoken atheists to be among the first to see it, if only so that I could later mine their reviews for juicy sound bites. I might be tempted to “expel” Ken Miller, however.

Yep, Cowardheart’s gonna cling to this idiocy until his last breath. He’s really THAT stupid and credulous, he actually believes that a website accessible from every computer on the planet is some sort of top-secret private club.

A person with a functioning brain might consider the fact that the IDiots behind this propaganda keep changing these stories might just suggest they were lying (gatecrashing that didn’t happen, harassing patrons later revealed not to be there, having no ticket when no tickets were even required, etc). Such a person might also find it odd that a person actually featured in the film is not allowed to see it, for any reason. But Cowardheart isn’t such a person.

Even after dutifully parroting the absurd claim that Ass. Prod. Mathis was afraid PZ would disrupt the screening, after changing his spin with every breeze, Cowardheart still hasn’t realized he’s being lied to.

But then, this is the nutcase who hallucinates mafia organizations in science blogs. You can’t really expect him to do any thinking.

William Wallace:

Missing a couple of words:

An associate professor at the University of Minnesota was expelled from a free [private] screening of the movie “Expelled.”

P.Z. Meyers was interviewed in “Expelled,” and even thanked in the movie’s credits. When he tried to watch the film, however, he was kicked out 15 minutes before it started. [PZ has yet to demonstrate that he was invited to the private screening].

Myers is an atheist. The movie argues that schools should teach creationism as an alternative to evolution.

Quidam quoting AiG Wrote:

If God’s Word is not true concerning the age of the earth, then maybe it’s not true concerning other events of the Creation Week; and maybe God was not a necessary part of the equation for life after all.

LOL! Oh, that’s rich.

AiG have not even bothered to read the Bible. The Bible itself contains no figure for the age of the Earth. “God’s Word” is actually silent about the age of the Earth. The chronology “calculated” by Bishop Ussher was printed in the margins of many Bibles up until about 1900, but the originals contain no chronology.

Nigel D Wrote:

AiG have not even bothered to read the Bible.

I guess you’re kidding, because they do almost nothing but read the Bible. But they read it as a lawyer would - to cherry pick and interpret it to support only what they have already concluded. With that I just thought of a loophole that Michael Behe gives his classic creationist (non-ID) fans when he says that it’s silly to read the Bible as a science text. It may be politically incorrect for IDers and classic creationists to admit it, but for them it is common practice to read everything as a lawyer rather than as a scientist.

Frank, do you mean they even quote-mine their sacred text???

Nigel D:

Frank, do you mean they even quote-mine their sacred text???

Where do you think they learned the skill? They probably don’t even understand that it’s quote-mining; it’s just taking the words literally and using them to support their pre-conceived notions. Bible or Dawkins, it makes no difference. They “know” the former is true, the latter is evil, and they must convince the world, just as a lawyer must convince a jury, and “anything you say can and will be used against you.” Belief creates truth. Context is irrelevant. It’s just the way they “think.”

Bill Gascoyne Wrote:

…it’s just taking the words literally and using them to support their pre-conceived notions.

It’s fun watching different literalists claim that it supports YEC and several variants of OEC. I’d bet that it’s only the fear of being ridiculed by other literalists that stops many of them from swearing that it supports flat-earthism.

What’s not fun is watching so many of my fellow critics regularly missing opportunities to catch these people in their mutual contradictions.

Creationists read the bibble as a book of laws for them to live by (their lives must be fraught with indecision at every turn): that’s why they read it like lawyers, so they know what they have to do and what they can get away with.

gregwrld:

Creationists read the bibble as a book of laws for them to live by (their lives must be fraught with indecision at every turn): that’s why they read it like lawyers, so they know what they have to do and what they can get away with.

I know this was at least partly meant in jest, but if it is true, imagine what a sad and empty life these people must lead.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on March 23, 2008 10:09 AM.

Dawkins and PZ Myers on ‘Expelled’ was the previous entry in this blog.

A homage to PZ is the next entry in this blog.

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