New Scientist review of ‘Expelled’

| 16 Comments

expelled movie exposedExpelledExposed.com has the full text of the review by New Scientist

New Scientist reviews ‘Expelled’

This seems to be the next step in sneaking ID into schools after the Kitzmiller vs Dover case saw the compulsory teaching of ID ruled unconstitutional in 2005. Last month, a press conference held by the Discovery Institute to promote the proposed bill included a screening of Expelled.

Ultimately, the Discovery Institute’s support may be the film’s undoing. The institute has argued long and hard that ID is not about religion, yet in the film the connections are explicit. If challenged on this, the institute may have to distance itself from the film, discrediting Expelled in the process.

16 Comments

Over the last year or two, I’ve thought that New Scientist has been treading rather softly where IDC is concerned. By calling Expelled a documentary in the opening paragraph, I think they are being a bit too easy on it.

Still, from the article:

Stein was also a game-show host and speech-writer for Richard Nixon.

I had no idea that Ben Stein had been a game-show host for Richard Nixon. Does every president have their own game-show host?

;-)

Does every president have their own game-show host?

Not anymore; Nixon was President a long time ago. Today, Presidents have entire game show departments, with budgets as large as necessary. Today these departments are in charge of the “news leak game”, the “what time of day, how, and where to release which story” game, the “press release” game, the “managed Q&A session” game, the “creative euphemism” game (which has now developed into a contest to see who can name a policy nearest to the opposite of the effect of that policy). The DI itself is an example of how the modern game show operates, and Expelled shows how the game is played, but in content and in how the film has been previewed and positioned.

Yes.

Yeah, he hosted Watergate Jeopardy … “Ben, I’ll take ‘Not a crook’ for $200.”

The ID crowd continues to adapt. Relying on the courts for remedies has worked so far, but the ID folks will eventually find an approach that works. Seems their current goals are to portray themselves as martys and/or revolutionaries. I think another goal for ID is to get more “critical” views of evolutionary theory into the classroom.

The judge in the Dover case said that ID/creationism cannot separate itself from its religious roots, but I’m not so sure. There are (rather dubious) scientific ideas they can push, like (irrelevant) probability calcuations about the likelihood of complex adaptations.

I saw a review of Expelled today!

Ultimately, the Discovery Institute’s support may be the film’s undoing. The institute has argued long and hard that ID is not about religion, yet in the film the connections are explicit.

If it is not about religion, and it is not about doing science, then what is all the spent millions about, other than doing propaganda?

And if the propaganda is quote-mining, mischaracterization, misconception, and pseudo-science, doesn’t the fact that innocent people are derailed from their educational paths, required to spend money defending themselves in court (or having the taxpayers pick up the tab), and having the time and costs of administering education inflated by dealing with this junk, doesn’t all this constitute fraud?

If it is fraud, as it certainly seems to be, then isn’t the Discovery Institute setting itself up for a serious law suit if enough people finally get fed up with them?

Then they would have to cry “religious persecution” or “freedom of religion” and it is back to being all about religion.

Man would I like to see them squirm and sink out of sight in their own crap.

One thing remains to be seen - does Ben Stein say “Buhler” [my spelling!] anywhere in Expelled ??

(PZ Myers used his Brian Control thingy on me…)

Marc Buhler: (PZ Myers used his Brian Control thingy on me…)

I didn’t know PZ could control Brians!

Carefull, Cthulhu may be listening.

I didn’t know PZ could control Brians!

He can only do it with full two hand access to his thingy. Other evilutionists use a single hand method allowing them to hold an umbrella in heavy rain for AC +1. Range of effect= touch Save= Will +d6

Marc Buhler:

One thing remains to be seen - does Ben Stein say “Buhler” [my spelling!] anywhere in Expelled ??

(PZ Myers used his Brian Control thingy on me…)

No. He still uses the reputation he gained from the movie, but rather than saying “buhler”, he just uses the “anyone, anyone” part. Of course the impact of that sequence is lessened once you learn that the lecture hall that you’re supposed to believe is full of college students is really filled with paid actors, and that estimates place the number of real college students in that scene at around 2-3, the impact of that scene is… somewhat lessened.

Really, how much longer can the DI stay standing? They’re rapidly running out of toes to shoot off.

Mike Elzinga Wrote:

…doesn’t all this constitute fraud?

If it is fraud, as it certainly seems to be, then isn’t the Discovery Institute setting itself up for a serious law suit if enough people finally get fed up with them?

Maybe, Mike, but to nail them with a lawsuit for fraud would require that everything they have published be proved wrong.

Oh, wait.

Check that box. Been there, done that.

Then they would have to cry “religious persecution” or “freedom of religion” and it is back to being all about religion.

Man would I like to see them squirm and sink out of sight in their own crap.

Amen to that!

Nomad:

Of course the impact of that sequence is lessened once you learn that the lecture hall that you’re supposed to believe is full of college students is really filled with paid actors…

Probably not paid. Speaking as somebody who does extra work when the fancy strikes (check me out as zombie #42 in Zombie Campout) you generally get lunch (but NOT at the craft table!) and the remote possibility of a credit.

(In the case of ZC I’m actually on the back jacket of the DVD! W00t3rz.)

I think this blog post was well done but I tend to disagree a little.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on April 14, 2008 3:01 PM.

Time Magazine Reviews ‘Expelled’ was the previous entry in this blog.

List of Scientists Rejecting Evolution- Do they really? is the next entry in this blog.

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