Star Tribune: Movie review: Propaganda piece “Expelled” flunks giving it 1/2 out of four stars

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expelled movie exposedAnother ‘stellar’ review by the Star Tribune titled Movie review: Propaganda piece “Expelled” flunks

According to “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the source of all evil in the modern world is Darwinism, a philosophy that, the film posits, is responsible for everything from atheism to abortion, euthanasia to the Holocaust.

33 Comments

Rottentomatoes has Expelled at 9% and going down!

Next stop: Battlefield Earth at 3%

(Given the small critic sample-size for Expelled so far, Expelled has a very good chance of beating out Battlefield Earth for the “Turkey of the Universe” award.)

Expelled would have been ahead of Battlefield Earth in the race to the cellar if it weren’t for some sorry-assed clown by the name of Edward Douglass (who fancies himself as some sort of movie critic).

According to “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the source of all evil in the modern world is Darwinism, a philosophy that, the film posits, is responsible for everything from atheism to abortion, euthanasia to the Holocaust.

This is a classic example of sloppy thinking. While it is widely accepted that the Holocaust was evil, there is active debate over euthanasia and abortion, and to call atheism evil is simply bigoted.

I hope this is not typical of American news coverage in general.

there is active debate over euthanasia and abortion, and to call atheism evil is simply bigoted.

I don’t read it the same way. These are “evil” from the fundamentalist perspective, within which no such “active debate” exists at all. What they’ve done is taken everything that offends their superstitions, and blames it all on something ELSE they find offensive.

Granted, it would have been clearer to say “the source of everything fundamentalist Christians find evil in the modern world.”

Flint:

there is active debate over euthanasia and abortion, and to call atheism evil is simply bigoted.

I don’t read it the same way. These are “evil” from the fundamentalist perspective, within which no such “active debate” exists at all.

To the average fundamentalist, everything and anything that does not directly support them and their worldview is to be regarded as irredeemably evil, be it a mass murderer’s knife, or a book on trilobites.

Stanton:

Yes, this sort of polarized thinking is very profoundly religious. There is no neutral, and every fact however dry must be examined to decide if it’s a good fact or an evil fact. Every fact, every opinion, every logical inference must be categorized as to whether it for or against the gods. Sometimes I’m reminded of languages that must assign a gender to every noun, and as technology generates innovations, some committee somewhere must give a gender to every one!

A number of theaters in the Twin Cities are showing “Expelled”: Arbor Lakes, Brooklyn Center, Carmike (Apple Valley), Coon Rapids, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Elk River, Inver Grove, Lakeville, Mall of America (Bloomington), Oakdale (2), Rogers, Shakopee, Southdale (Edina), White Bear, Willow Creek, Wynnsong.

(Minneapolis Star-Tribune listing, 4/q8/08, page F17) The review is 1/3 column on page F14.

Interestingly, the previous Expelled story in the SLT is the top rated story in the last five days.

to call atheism evil is simply bigoted.

No, no, Nigel, don’t you understand, without God to tell us right from wrong, there’d be nothing to stop us from doing unspeakably evil things like flying airplanes into skyscrapers.

</sarcasm>

Great film. i think we need to look at these documentaries for what they are. A little one sided. See any Micheal Moore stuff lately? He gets praised and Al wins the NOBEL? Come on! Expelled was well done and interviews were not slashed and edited as much as some want to believe. Now we look at it with a little critical thinking, not just being critical and see that there was plenty of valid science without religion noted and case made.Expelled makes the grade wether you believe in God or not.

And please give up on the bigoted comments.

Allow me to put you Darwinists on notice. Millions of people, including many Jr. High, High School, and College age kids will be seeing “Expelled.” Many of these same kids will be reading creationist/ID books and watching creationist/ID DVDs. We don’t need your public schools to get creationism/ID materials and teaching into the hands and minds of Jr. High, High School, and College students. We will circumvent the public education system and go to them directly, just as Ben Stein has done.

Darwinists, your monopoly on origins science education is coming to an end!

Why do people like Professor T make me think of pedophiles? “We will get your kids!!!!!”

Creepy.

Professor T: Darwinists, your monopoly on origins science education is coming to an end!

Ignoring the obvious mischaracterisation of “evolution must explain abiogenesis”, does this mean creationists are *finally* going to present some research and give some evidence?

Does “origins science” refer to anything at all, beyond encoding generalized opposition to any inconvenient aspects of reality?

Number 52:

Professor T: Darwinists, your monopoly on origins science education is coming to an end!

Ignoring the obvious mischaracterisation of “evolution must explain abiogenesis”, does this mean creationists are *finally* going to present some research and give some evidence?

I really doubt it. If creationist organizations like the Discovery Institute and Answers in Genesis continue to spend millions of dollars for decades, and still be wholly unable to, or even be wholly unmotivated to produce a single peer-reviewed paper, one pathetically boring movie starring Ben Stein will not motivate them to do any research.

In fact, Professor T’s statement is practically a signed confession admitting that creationists never had an intention of doing any research what so ever in the first place.

Flint:

Stanton:

Yes, this sort of polarized thinking is very profoundly religious. There is no neutral, and every fact however dry must be examined to decide if it’s a good fact or an evil fact. Every fact, every opinion, every logical inference must be categorized as to whether it for or against the gods. Sometimes I’m reminded of languages that must assign a gender to every noun, and as technology generates innovations, some committee somewhere must give a gender to every one!

My mother tongue is a language like that and I’m pretty sure these things are not decided by any committee :) It’s mostly based on the sound of words (most words in Czech that end with a consonant are masculine, so “laser” is put in this group, most words ending in -a are feminine, so “katoda” (catode) and “anoda” (anode) are feminine, “Windows” is plural, so it’s put as one of the words that don’t have any singular form, etc. It’s all quite natural.

Flint:

there is active debate over euthanasia and abortion, and to call atheism evil is simply bigoted.

I don’t read it the same way. These are “evil” from the fundamentalist perspective, within which no such “active debate” exists at all. What they’ve done is taken everything that offends their superstitions, and blames it all on something ELSE they find offensive.

Granted, it would have been clearer to say “the source of everything fundamentalist Christians find evil in the modern world.”

Thanks, Flint (I just got back after four days away from home, so am a bit behind with everything).

Marek14:

Thanks, that’s interesting if beside the point. The point was that gender is a perverse notion to project onto nouns, whatever protocol is used. It is NOT “quite natural” in any way, though I suppose that if you HAD to decide if a toaster was male or female (godly or godless, drunk or sober, east or west, etc.) using the last letter of the noun is as arbitrary a method as any. Let’s see, if the word “toaster” ends in R, it’s masculine, godless, sober, and west!

The point was that gender is a perverse notion to project onto nouns, whatever protocol is used.

Or pronouns.

Henry

Flint:

Marek14:

Thanks, that’s interesting if beside the point. The point was that gender is a perverse notion to project onto nouns, whatever protocol is used. It is NOT “quite natural” in any way, though I suppose that if you HAD to decide if a toaster was male or female (godly or godless, drunk or sober, east or west, etc.) using the last letter of the noun is as arbitrary a method as any. Let’s see, if the word “toaster” ends in R, it’s masculine, godless, sober, and west!

“Perverse”??? I really don’t think we are any more depraved than the rest of the world :)

If I’m not mistaken, grammatical gender is quite common in other Germanic languages like German. Wouldn’t that make English the odd man out in this manner instead of the norm? (Note that English is a curiously degenerate language that lost many features it used to have centuries ago.) Gender is also the norm in Romanic languages, including the grand ancestor, Latin.

And trust me in this - if you grew up with language that has you thinking of gender of nouns all the time (adjectives, pronouns, and even verbs change to accommodate for it), it WOULD feel “quite natural” to you. After all, doesn’t English have scores of irregular verbs? What is “natural” there? :) (Czech has, if I’m not mistaken, grand total of four, plus their prefix variations.)

What I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t denigrate other people’s languages, especially if those people took the pain and education to learn English so they wouldn’t cause unnecessary suffering with their extraordinarily complex Slavic grammatical system…

with their extraordinarily complex Slavic grammatical system…

Ah, but was this complexity specified? ;)

Henry

If you were hoping to become enlightened as to the “debate” between intelligent design and evolution, this is not the move to see. It explains neither. Almost frantic at times to point at gaps in the theory of evolution, the movie never takes ten seconds to explain how intelligent design can fill those gaps. Indeed,the movie unknowingly turns on itself. At one point Dr. Richard Dawkins, a leading evolution scientist is quoted as saying that the design in life may have begun with an alien intelligence. This clip is suppose to make Dawkins and by extension, evolution look ridiculous. Apparently the producers overlooked the irony that in essence, that is what the intelligent design argument is all about. God did it, Aleins did it, whatever. The fact that the producers missed their own point should tell you all you need to know.

Besides…it truly is a boring movie

Stanton said:

I really doubt it. If creationist organizations like the Discovery Institute and Answers in Genesis continue to spend millions of dollars for decades, and still be wholly unable to, or even be wholly unmotivated to produce a single peer-reviewed paper, one pathetically boring movie starring Ben Stein will not motivate them to do any research.

In fact, Professor T’s statement is practically a signed confession admitting that creationists never had an intention of doing any research what so ever in the first place.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I feel somewhat disengeuinous piping up here, but I couldn’t let this bit of ignorance go unanswered: Creation scientists HAVE been doing serious research and producing peer-reviewed papers for decades. While much of what they produce does counter the evolutionary model, that isn’t their primary motivation. They are reinterpreting the data from a non-uniformitarian, interventionist viewpoint. That you haven’t heard of it is the POINT OF THE MOVIE!! Ironic.

Lisa said:

I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I feel somewhat disengeuinous piping up here, but I couldn’t let this bit of ignorance go unanswered: Creation scientists HAVE been doing serious research and producing peer-reviewed papers for decades. While much of what they produce does counter the evolutionary model, that isn’t their primary motivation. They are reinterpreting the data from a non-uniformitarian, interventionist viewpoint. That you haven’t heard of it is the POINT OF THE MOVIE!! Ironic.

Cool!

Perhaps you would be willing to share a couple of citations. I’m sure there must be tens of thousands, if they’ve been doing it for decades.

Curiously, my own searches of the literature return a total number of peer-reviewed creationist scientific publications that very closely approaches the cube root of zero.

Creation scientists HAVE been doing serious research and producing peer-reviewed papers for decades. While much of what they produce does counter the evolutionary model, that isn’t their primary motivation. They are reinterpreting the data from a non-uniformitarian, interventionist viewpoint. That you haven’t heard of it is the POINT OF THE MOVIE!! Ironic.

You’re kidding are you not. There is little serious peer reviewed research from creationists? Such as?

From the Answers Reserach Journal:

VIII. Paper Review Process

The following criteria will be used in judging papers: 1. Is the paper’s topic important to the development of the Creation and Flood model? 2. Does the paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the Creation and Flood model? 3. Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework? 4. If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative? 5. If the paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed within the origins debate? 6. Does this paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatical-historical/normative interpretation of Scripture? Remark: The editor-in-chief will not be afraid to reject a paper if it does not properly satisfy the above criteria or it conflicts with the best interests of AiG as judged by its biblical stand and goals outlined in its statement of faith.

This is exactly why it’s not scientific research. Science starts with observations, leading to hypothesis, experiments, results, and conclusions, which will ultimately influence models and possibly theories. Scientific journals ask for reproducible methods and evidence. “Creation science” starts with the YEC model and anything that does not fit it is rejected.

Lisa said:

Creation scientists HAVE been doing serious research and producing peer-reviewed papers for decades. While much of what they produce does counter the evolutionary model, that isn’t their primary motivation. They are reinterpreting the data from a non-uniformitarian, interventionist viewpoint. That you haven’t heard of it is the POINT OF THE MOVIE!! Ironic.

Please produce this decades’ worth of peer-reviewed papers about research by Creationist scientists, or I am going to assume that you’re lying, given as how Creationists inevitably lie about everything. Exactly how does one quantify “interventionism” in a laboratory? With a hallelujahometer? What sort of results did they produce that runs counter to evolution? A live rabbit magically and miraculously arising wholecloth out of Precambrian shale? If they did do a repeatable experiment like this, why haven’t these researchers been awarded Nobel prizes?

Furthermore, the point of the movie wasn’t the (alleged) fact that Creationist “scientists” were writing and working on super-secret research on GODDIDIT that not even the Pope or other creationists knew about. The point of the movie was that “Darwinism” leads to Atheism, which lead to CommuNazism, which leads to abortions for everyone whether they like it or not.

Lisa said:

They are reinterpreting the data from a non-uniformitarian, interventionist viewpoint.

That’s the problem. There is this preconception in creationist circles that if the evidence can just be “reinterpreted” in a Biblical light, it will magically show the desired result.

Well, yes, it will - if you’re dishonest about it, if you cherry-pick the little tidbits that seem to support your case while ignoring the vast piles of evidence that points in some other direction.

If you’re an honest scientist, evidence is evidence. Your model either fits the evidence or your model is wrong. The evidence isn’t wrong just because it’s inconvenient.

Franklin, Darwin, Newton and Einstein were all religious men. They were all somewhat disturbed that their research was removing the hand of God from the everyday world but hey - numbers were numbers, and in all honesty, the facts said God’s hand wasn’t on the switch.

The great shibboleth of “framework” is yet another creationist red herring. There is no “framework” for facts. There are just facts.

Facts can be proved or disproved, but they can’t be ignored. The creationist word for ignoring inconvenient facts is “framework”. The adult word for ignoring inconvenient facts is “lying”.

Creationist ‘researchers’ don’t publish their work in serious outlets because because they know knowledgeable people will use the adult version of truth and quickly call them on it.

I call shenanigans on anyone who claims creationists have published any research that has held up to peer review, but if you disagree, and you actually have some demonstrable creationist facts, now would be the time to put them on the table.

As usual, I suspect I’ll be waiting a while.

stevaroni said:

I call shenanigans on anyone who claims creationists have published any research that has held up to peer review, but if you disagree, and you actually have some demonstrable creationist facts, now would be the time to put them on the table.

As usual, I suspect I’ll be waiting a while.

I recommend you take up a hobby in the meantime, stevaroni. Such as knitting afghans and matching legwarmers for horses.

Facts can be proved or disproved, but they can’t be ignored.

Oh sure they can - just look at how many people are out there ignoring facts all the time. ;)

Henry

Lisa said:

Creation scientists HAVE been doing serious research and producing peer-reviewed papers for decades. While much of what they produce does counter the evolutionary model, that isn’t their primary motivation. They are reinterpreting the data from a non-uniformitarian, interventionist viewpoint.

Where is this research being done and where is it being published? I’ve just scoured the CreationResearch web page but all they have there are one or two paragraph blurbs to encourage people to donate (which include nonsense like ‘the history of kangaroos is the opposite of evolution. Since this fossil was buried, kangaroos have devolved or degenerated.’)

At ‘Institute for Creation Research’ there are about 3 dozen papers, most on radiodating that I am not competent to judge. Others I looked at had wild, evidence-free speculation with major problems ignored, rather like 8-year-old boys designing their ideal car. Solar radiation reduced by 75%, continents batting around at 40km/h and the kinetic energy just vanishing, steam being ejected at twice escape velocity, things like that. One paper on trematodes basically said ‘They have complicated life cycles, therefore God.’

This is not science, this is people playing at science.

My initial response was to Stanton’s original comment which said that creationist organizations were “wholly unable” or “unmotivated to produce a single peer-reviewed paper” and then said that they weren’t motivated to “do any research” and “never had any intention of doing any research what so ever [sic] in the first place.” I responded that that just wasn’t true. Creation scientists have been producing papers and having them published in non-secular peer-reviewed journals. They are peer-reviewed in the sense that other creation scientists are reviewing them in these journals. Unfortunately these papers aren’t usually accepted in the secular journals due to their creationist content. That doesn’t mean they lack scientific significance, it just means that if research doesn’t fit into the uniformitarian evolutionary paradigm then it’s rejected. From a logical standpoint that is just fallacious. Let’s see: “We don’t agree with the findings of your research so we won’t publish them. Your research isn’t published therefore it doesn’t exist.” OK, I know most of you guys are jumping up and down with your brains exploding right now, but just stop and think about it. Richard is the only person who actually attempted to find the research to which I alluded. Everyone else commented in such an intelligently informed fashion on views that they had admittedly never read (because they don’t exist).

Here are a few sites that contain the research: The Origins Journal at the Geoscience Research Institute http://www.grisda.org/origins/ndx-yr.htm and The Occasional Papers of the BSG http://www.creationbiology.org/cont[…]ule_id=36813

Lisa, the reasons why creationist research papers are rejected by mainstream scientists are actually rather simple: Creationist papers are poorly written, they can not explain why creationist research is scientifically significant, and they can not explain why a biblical viewpoint is scientifically significant.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: the only reason why mainstream scientists keep out those very few creationists who do actually do research is because of quality control.

Lisa:

Unfortunately these papers aren’t usually accepted in the secular journals due to their creationist content. That doesn’t mean they lack scientific significance, it just means that if research doesn’t fit into the uniformitarian evolutionary paradigm then it’s rejected. From a logical standpoint that is just fallacious.

No. These papers are never submitted, and would not be accepted if they were, SOLELY because they lack scientific significance, and for no other reason. If they were actual research, replicable by others, producing new observations, they’d find publishers outside the creationist ghetto. Indeed, scientists have been begging the creationists to produce any genuine science (that is, follow the scientific method, and accept the evidence whatever it truly might be). So far, no takers.

And this is NOT because it doesn’t fit any (nonexistent) “uniformitarian evolutionary paradigm.” It’s because it simply does not accept, use, or follow the basic universal principles that make science what it is. If you study the history of science, you will find one common recurring pattern - new scientific research extends and corrects and clarifies (and sometimes outright refutes) existing scientific views. So long as you follow the method, and do so correctly, your results will be accepted and published, regardless of whose toes they may step on.

You are entirely correct in saying that it would be fallacious if science were acting to protect its results rather than its methods. You are wrong in assuming that if unscientific procedures produce foregone conclusions, science is rejecting the conclusions. Not so. Science is rejecting the procedures.

(And it’s perfectly clear by now that creationists work exactly backwards from science. They STATE their conclusions, then do whatever it takes to force their procedures to produce the REQUIRED conclusions. Problem is, reality does not cooperate, the evidence refutes creationism, so the scientific method CANNOT lead to creationist conclusions. Therefore, some other method must be used. But if you use another method, don’t expect it to be treated as science. It’s not.)

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on April 17, 2008 11:39 PM.

Pelicans always seemed more probable to me, anyway was the previous entry in this blog.

Chicago Tribune reviews “Expelled” giving it 1 star is the next entry in this blog.

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