Unevolved “Mark Mathis”

| 38 Comments

expelled movie exposedThis interview is just too good to ignore. The Real Detroit Weekly reports on the movie “Expelled”. The interview shows what had already become painfully clear to me having listened the SciAm interview: namely that Mathis is poorly informed on the issues of evolutionary theory. Whenever challenged by the SciAm editors, Mathis would first try to respond only to find himself overwhelmed by the facts and respond with “I am just an associate editor” and claim unfamiliarity with the facts. Why is it that ID works best in the shadows of ignorance?

Point in case

I confront Mathis with this point, and he counters that evolutionary theory is also untestable. This is patently untrue—to give just one example, scientists have witnessed speciation, the arisal of a new species from an old one.

When I point this out, he interrupts me immediately: “Whoa! Wait a minute! Please send me whatever material you have that demonstrates that we can observe speciation because I have not seen anything. I’ve never heard anyone even claim that!”

Is he serious? He’s just produced a film about evolution, and he’s never heard of the fact that speciation has been observed and thoroughly documented in the scientific literature? I’m stunned. I send him peer-reviewed research confirming this fact via e-mail, and he later responds, “This isn’t an important argument for me.”

But things get much worse, when asked about PZ Myers who was denied entrance to the advance screening of the movie, Mathis responds as follows

It gets worse. According to a March 21st New York Times article, evolutionary biologist P.Z. Myers—who is interviewed in Expelled—tried to attend an advance screening of the film and was denied entrance by Mr. Mathis. Surely this was some kind of comic mix-up. No producer who releases a film called Expelled would actually expel an individual who appears in his film from seeing that film. Right?

Mathis laughs before offering two reasons why he told the security guard at the screening not to let Myers in. First, Mathis says, “He has viciously attacked me personally and attacked the film.” Just to clarify, Myers did not break into Mr. Mathis’ house in a drunken rage with a bowie knife—he has simply been critical of Mathis’ arguments.

Mathis ‘expelled’ PZ because Myers had ‘viciously attacked’ Mathis on his blog… Wow…

And things got worse:

The second reason? Mathis assumed that the incident would engender “some additional attention” for the film. I’m not joking. He actually called that a reason.

“He was not invited to the screening,” Mathis says. “I don’t have time to read P.Z. Myers’ oral diarrhea.”

“But the screening wasn’t done by invite, was it?” I ask.

“It’s still our screening. I’m still the producer on site. And I still have the ability to say, ‘I didn’t invite you. And you’re not coming.’” Mathis repeats, “I denied him entrance to a film that he was not invited to.”

“But just to clarify, others who weren’t invited were allowed in, right?”

“Done by discretion! Done by discretion!” In case you’re wondering, this means yes. It seems safe to say that discretion is something that Mark Mathis lacks entirely. I let him scream for one more minute.

Wow.

“We have the option of ex… uh, of kicking, uh, of not allowing P.Z. Myers to come to the film he wasn’t invited to. Okay? Who cares?!”

Seems that the true story of “Expelled” is to be found with its associate producer.

38 Comments

Give them enough rope…

Poor Mark Mathis; he keeps dropping fecal matter where ever he goes and now is having trouble not stepping in it.

I wonder why the mainstream press never asks hard questions like these. Stein, Mathis, and everyone else involved in this film have repeatedly demonstrated that they know absolutely nothing about the subject they’re demonizing so enthusiastically, yet it seems that only alternative media outlets like this pay attention.

Even Michael Moore occasionally has to field actual questions in the mainstream press (though also not nearly enough). When you make a documentary, is it too much to ask that reviewers figure out whether you know what you’re talking about before buying it hook, line, and sinker?

Give them enough rope…

Heheh. I say, Give him a gun. Let’s see if he can shoot himself in the foot with his foot in his mouth.

ellazimm:

Poor Mark Mathis; he keeps dropping fecal matter where ever he goes and now is having trouble not stepping in it.

LOL!

Gary Hurd:

Give them enough rope…

Heheh. I say, Give him a gun. Let’s see if he can shoot himself in the foot with his foot in his mouth.

LOL! (again)

Seriously, though, Mathis’s ignorance and evasiveness are typical of ID proponents and supporters. Remember that lecture that Billy D gave, where he was metaphorically torn to pieces by the students during the Q&A?

They have to evade giving a straight answer to questions about the science, because they simply do not know the science.

From KvD, when Behe was presented with a stack of peer-reviewed papers about evolution, all he could say was “that is not good enough” (or words to that effect). I’d bet pounds to dollars that he had not read even half of those papers at the time.

Myers did not break into Mr. Mathis’ house in a drunken rage with a bowie knife

No, but you have to admit, that would have been kind of cool.

Regardless of how awful Mathis may represent himself, he does have a pleasant speaking voice. I just finished listening to the interview he did with sciam where he poorly defends his position and is quick to hide behind ignorance and non responsibilities.

In closed countries, artless propaganda works better because there’s no oppositional discourse.

Here in the US, more craft is necessary to make propaganda really work.

In a way, it is really very fortunate that the ID movement is so bad at PR. Imagine the damage they could do if they had the intelligence of a Lee Atwater, the elan of a Jerry Falwell (there were giants in the Earth in those days).

ben:

Myers did not break into Mr. Mathis’ house in a drunken rage with a bowie knife

No, but you have to admit, that would have been kind of cool.

However cool it may appear to be, it would also be insane. Which is perhaps not so cool after all.

Bilge Prophet: … In a way, it is really very fortunate that the ID movement is so bad at PR. Imagine the damage they could do if they had the intelligence of a Lee Atwater, the elan of a Jerry Falwell (there were giants in the Earth in those days).

Or the turn of phrase of Carl Sagan…

Gary Hurd:

Give them enough rope…

Heheh. I say, Give him a gun. Let’s see if he can shoot himself in the foot with his foot in his mouth.

The best way of dealing with a Silastic Armorfiend of Striterax was to put him in a room on his own, because sooner or later he would simply beat himself up.

Please stop comparing this film to anything that Mike Moore has done. There is simply no comparison between the two. I wouldn’t even consider Expelled to be a ‘documentary’. People who consider Expelled a ‘documentary’ also think that ABC did a fine job hosting the last Dem ‘debate’.

Seriously. These IDiots have nothing but language and it’s misuse to run their games. Sophist bullsquat. Let’s not feed into their rhetoric by comparing what is to what isn’t as if there were some comparison to be made. It’s exactly what they’re trying to do with their religious IDiocy.

To my knowledge there is not one demonstrably false fact presented in Mr. Moore’s hard hitting and record breaking DOCUMENTARY Fahrenheit 911. Filmbuffs, what do you call a ‘documentary’ when it’s fact free? A propaganda film. A documentary can be propaganda but the reverse is not true.

Enjoy.

PvM Wrote:

namely that Mathis is poorly informed on the issues of evolutionary theory.

This is where I usually chime in with “Wouldn’t he spout the same nonsense if he did have a reasonable grasp of evolution, and just had a prior commitment to misrepresent it?”

I still think that applies to mist scam artists - IOW, they know enough evolution to privately know that we’re right, but in refusing to admit it, come across as ignorant. This example, however, suggests that Mathis’ mind-numbing cluelessness might be real. If he had read and understood the many observed instances of speciation he would have just moved the goal posts (possibly demanding a speciation so dramatic that it would falsify evolution, e.g. a dog giving birth to a cat). Not admit to being unaware that the results exist.

IIRC this is the same clown whose only evidence of having listened to Ken Miller was to dismiss his mousetrap tie clip demonstration as unconvincing.

I agree with you, my impression from the SciAm interview is that Mathis is not only ignorant of evolution, but uses his ignorance as a shield.

You left out the best quote from the review of the film:

“In addition to the standard creationist claptrap, Ben Stein argues that there is a link between acceptance of evolution and Nazism. To be fair, this would explain why so many of the world’s leading evolutionary biologists have a penchant for slaughtering scores of Jews. Thankfully for Stein, the name of God has never been used as a justification for heinous acts—otherwise his argument would seem laughably inconsistent and intellectually dishonest.”

Ignorance, willful or not? This is a question that I have been asking myself in respect to religion for the longest time. How long? I have recollections almost as early as I have memories of going to church (five or six years old) where I wondered (to myself) if all these people really believed this nonsense or if they were all just going along for the ride (like Santa Claus). Kids are normally easy targets for religious abuse (Dawkinsian abuse - hereby named for the honorable RD) and the retention of nonsense fed endlessly from birth to youth. Why I survived (thrived?) while others went merrily along believing in Zeus is a product of the fact that all people are not created equal (no offense intended). You CAN fool some of the people all of the time and that group is scientifically identifiable given certain metrics. I wish the religious ‘market’ were a little more ‘niche’ than it is, but even as their public relations ‘noise’ grows louder I’m certain it’s just higher pitched squeals from a shrinking pile of nutjobs.

At the highest levels, the ignorance is mostly willful, because as has been pointed out, they often make themselves look more foolish than they are by refusing to concede prima facie evidence that is really impossible to refute.

For the most outrageous political parallel, watch the entire White House operation who knowingly approved of, engaged in (to the point that Condi, Rummy, etc were micromanaging abuse at the individual prisoner level) TORTURE.

Now that the country and the world seem to be waking up to the facts, nobody at the White House will even admit that they know how to spell torture. Never did it. Wouldn’t do it. No way. And by the way, God created everything and is behind us in our war and if we ever did torture God would be on our side, but we didn’t torture. The pictures the soldiers brought home on their cameras (and are now the subject of a major DOCUMENTARY TORTURE MOVIE) don’t exist. Who you gonna believe. The entire collective world, your eyes, the testimony of our brave soldiers, or the torturers? Believe it or not, many still believe the torturers!

Not to get too far offtrack, but given the politcal exposure of the aforementioned, versus the much more minimal exposure the losses of the ID movement receive, it’s easy to see how people can be deceived. The people doing the deceiving at the top of both these pyramids are near genius in the field of propaganda and opinion shaping. They weren’t aghast when they saw what the Nazi’s did. They were taking notes.

Enjoy.

EXPELLED is doing Great at the Box Office ! Posted: April 20, 2008 6:35 pm Eastern © 2008 WorldNetDaily - “Opening on about half the screens of other top 10 movies, “Expelled,” Ben Stein’s documentary on academia’s censorship of any ideas hinting of intelligent design, scored an IMPRESSIVE $3.2 million in its opening weekend – more than all but eight other movies.” EXPELLED the Movie is doing Great!

Tim Fuller writes;

To my knowledge there is not one demonstrably false fact presented in Mr. Moore’s hard hitting and record breaking documentary Fahrenheit 911.

While I generally respect Michael Moore and his work, it’s only fair to point out that he is not completely sinless.

One of the iconic scenes in “Bowling for Columbine” shows Moore opening a bank account and receiving a rifle as a “thank you” gift from the bank.

It turns out that the scene was staged - the production company had arranged to complete the actual transaction early, so that Moore’s ten-day waiting period was over by the time they shot, and Moore could get his gun on the spot. Moore compounded the fib when he insisted in interviews that “he didn’t do anything special”, glossing over the fact that things had been pre-arranged on his behalf.

There’s been much discussion of this episode over the years, but the fact that the controversy exists still casts the shadow of doubt over the rest of the work.

This neatly illustrates the first golden rule of normal documentaries - never fib, even a little bit - because once your critics find something to latch onto, you’ll be forever defending it.

Sadly, I have absolutely no idea why this reasonable rule never seems to apply to the IDiots and the inanity they spout every time they put their stuff down in writing.

No matter how much you point out that the Creobot Emperor has no clothes, the band marches on and parade continues down Main Street.

Tim Fuller Wrote:

Ignorance, willful or not? This is a question that I have been asking myself in respect to religion for the longest time. How long? I have recollections almost as early as I have memories of going to church (five or six years old) where I wondered (to myself) if all these people really believed this nonsense or if they were all just going along for the ride (like Santa Claus).

I have no doubt that the career anti-evolutionists, particularly of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ID variety, are encouraging belief in fairy tales that they personally don’t take literally.

I’m not sure where Mathis falls, but my guess is that, by now he knows that the mutually contradictory interpretations of Genesis can’t be taken literally, but at the same time he probably honestly denies the “Darwinism” caricature that he has confused with evolution. OTOH, I also think that if/when he does learn evolution correctly, he’ll choose to be in on the scam.

stevaroni:

One of the iconic scenes in “Bowling for Columbine” shows Moore opening a bank account and receiving a rifle as a “thank you” gift from the bank.

It turns out that the scene was staged - the production company had arranged to complete the actual transaction early, so that Moore’s ten-day waiting period was over by the time they shot, and Moore

The parallel to Expelled would be if Moore had bought the rifle at a gun store, taken it to the bank, then claimed the bank gave it to him. Moore tweaked the truth, but he didn’t just make things up out of whole cloth.

Boo wrote:

“The parallel to Expelled would be if Moore had bought the rifle at a gun store, taken it to the bank, then claimed the bank gave it to him. Moore tweaked the truth, but he didn’t just make things up out of whole cloth.”

I agree. Except I would add that to be more similar to the tactics used in Expelled Moore would have to lie to the gun store to obtain the gun under false pretenses, take the gun to the bank, claim the bank gave him the gun, kill everyone in the bank, then claim that Darwin made him do it, then lie about where the gun came from and lie about the voices he heard in his head then make a movie about it using copyrighted material without permission, then accuse anyone who had a problem with his behavior of persecuting him.

Tim Fuller:

To my knowledge there is not one demonstrably false fact presented in Mr. Moore’s hard hitting and record breaking DOCUMENTARY Fahrenheit 911. Filmbuffs, what do you call a ‘documentary’ when it’s fact free? A propaganda film. A documentary can be propaganda but the reverse is not true.

I believe it was after Fahrenheit that Moore said he’d pay $1 million to anyone that could prove a lie in his movie. During the movie, he and his crew bum rushed a Senator on the steps of the Capitol and interviewed him. Little to Moore’s knowledge, the interview was recorded by a third party. In the movie Moore edited the interview to change the context of the Senator’s answers and make them seem to be the opposite of what he’d actually said. In essence, the video equivalent of a quote mine. When confronted with the evidence, Moore said it wasn’t a lie because the Senator had actually said what was on the video, even though the meaning was changed.

I see no difference between his actions and attitudes than AIG or the DI. Moore may have had more facts in his movie than Expelled, but he also willfully lied in it. A blatent lie, stubbornly clung to, brings into question ones entire body of work, regardless of the number of facts in it.

David Stanton:

Boo wrote:

“The parallel to Expelled would be if Moore had bought the rifle at a gun store, taken it to the bank, then claimed the bank gave it to him. Moore tweaked the truth, but he didn’t just make things up out of whole cloth.”

I agree. Except I would add that to be more similar to the tactics used in Expelled Moore would have to lie to the gun store to obtain the gun under false pretenses, take the gun to the bank, claim the bank gave him the gun, kill everyone in the bank, then claim that Darwin made him do it, then lie about where the gun came from and lie about the voices he heard in his head then make a movie about it using copyrighted material without permission, then accuse anyone who had a problem with his behavior of persecuting him.

And Nazis. The Nazis are very important.

It is fun watching the Discovery Institute deconstruct themselves all week, with little but Hitler postings.

Meanwhile Ben Stein is inviting the “faith community” to watch his film on the Glenn Beck Rag Program, while the DI claims this is only about science and academics.

dale:

EXPELLED is doing Great at the Box Office ! Posted: April 20, 2008 6:35 pm Eastern © 2008 WorldNetDaily - “Opening on about half the screens of other top 10 movies, “Expelled,” Ben Stein’s documentary on academia’s censorship of any ideas hinting of intelligent design, scored an IMPRESSIVE $3.2 million in its opening weekend – more than all but eight other movies.” EXPELLED the Movie is doing Great!

Unfortunately for the tent revivalist atmosphere of WingNutDaily, Expelled didn’t actually even break the $3 million mark according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. Not that I expect you to re-evaluate WND as a source of news, but perhaps this will make you slightly more critical towards them.

“Tim Fuller:

To my knowledge there is not one demonstrably false fact presented in Mr. Moore’s hard hitting and record breaking DOCUMENTARY Fahrenheit 911. Filmbuffs, what do you call a ‘documentary’ when it’s fact free? A propaganda film. A documentary can be propaganda but the reverse is not true”.

No. I disagree. There’s the business with the cute cartoon in ‘Columbine’. Totally misleading. I fell for it completely. Three years later (when I found out some more details) I was pissed off. Pissed off at myself for not double checking facts.

The cartoon was NOT make by the South Park guys. The South Park creators are interviewed just before the cartoon and the cartoon is very, very similar to their style but.… http://www.southparkstudios.com/fan[…]php?id=10315

Deliberately misleading? I think so.

Then there’s the none too subtle suggestion that the origins of the NRA are intimately connected with the KKK. I bought that lie too.

You see, I don’t like guns very much. I don’t like the politics of the NRA. So I was happy to go along with the idea that the NRA and the KKK were more that just ‘good friends’ a long time ago. Shame on me. Much later, I read up on the history of the founding of the NRA. Turns out, the people that founded the NRA would have cheerfully used the KKK for target practice.

I am now officially NOT a fan of Mike Moore.

Propaganda is not inherently dishonest, evil or otherwise underhanded. It’s simply the process of disseminating information in favor of a doctrine or cause (and the information so used). All advocacy movies, books, videos, etc., are propaganda. Al Gore’s A Certain Truth is propaganda, as is the cosmological ID video The Privileged Planet. Michael Moore films are propaganda, as is Expelled, but that has nothing to do with the honesty of their content.

Mathis, before being spoon-fed info on speciation: “Whoa! Wait a minute! Please send me whatever material you have that demonstrates that we can observe speciation because I have not seen anything. I’ve never heard anyone even claim that!”

Mathis, after being spoon-fed: “This isn’t an important argument for me”

This guy must have multiple personalities.

Hi Nigel D.,

I heard Mark Mathis on the “Coast to Coast” syndicated AM radio program weeks ago, and its weekend host, Ian Punnett, was feeding him “softball” questions. It’s absolutely wonderful that someone was asking him (for once) some serious questions, delving only with the science, and not Mathis’ inane attempt at linking “Darwinism” to Nazism.

BTW, my “pal” Bill D. was “roasted” by his student audience at the University of Oklahoma on the evening of September 17, 2007. I remember that date vividly since I was attending an alumni event at my high school, and had been asked by several people at the University of Oklahoma for “assistance” in ensuring that Bill received a “warm” welcome. He most certainly did, complaining about a student newspaper advertisement protesting his visit (A document I had proofread beforehand.) and being on the receiving end - for once - of tough questions from students like Abbie Smith. Am delighted to say that I was an “Intelligent Designer” working behind the scenes, ensuring that the “Josef Goebbels of the Intelligent Design movement” received at last, his just desserts.

Regards,

John

John Kwok Wrote:

Hi Nigel D.,

I heard Mark Mathis on the “Coast to Coast” syndicated AM radio program weeks ago, and its weekend host, Ian Punnett, was feeding him “softball” questions. It’s absolutely wonderful that someone was asking him (for once) some serious questions, delving only with the science, and not Mathis’ inane attempt at linking “Darwinism” to Nazism.

BTW, my “pal” Bill D. was “roasted” by his student audience at the University of Oklahoma on the evening of September 17, 2007. I remember that date vividly since I was attending an alumni event at my high school, and had been asked by several people at the University of Oklahoma for “assistance” in ensuring that Bill received a “warm” welcome. He most certainly did, complaining about a student newspaper advertisement protesting his visit (A document I had proofread beforehand.) and being on the receiving end - for once - of tough questions from students like Abbie Smith. Am delighted to say that I was an “Intelligent Designer” working behind the scenes, ensuring that the “Josef Goebbels of the Intelligent Design movement” received at last, his just desserts.

Regards,

John

Thanks for the details there, John.

He got his just DESERTS (what he deserved).

But you know, desserts works too.

Just Bob said:

He got his just DESERTS (what he deserved).

But you know, desserts works too.

That’s right, Bob, Dembski was served a portion of stewed prunes and custard.

Dear Nigel D.,

My only regret about Dembski’s “roasting” is that there weren’t any Klingons present in the audience (Dembski sent me an e-mail accused me of being “childish” for believing in Klingons and Klingon Cosmology.). Would have liked to have seen a few “insist” that there is indeed more proof for Klingon Cosmology than there is for the mendacious intellectual pornography known as Intelligent Design. Indeed, I hope anyone who stumbles upon this post will ensure that there will be Klingons in attendance at more than one of Dembski’s “lectures”.

Cheers,

John

John, I like your idea, but I daresay the Klingons will dismiss Dembski as a P’tach and not take the time to listen to him :-).

Or they might mistake that sweater for a large tribble…

Hey Nigel D.,

With any luck, Bill D. might be so scared out of his wits by the sight of Klingons that he might have a coronary and quickly assume room temperature, ensuring that he would soon join his “true” saviour, Lucifer, not Christ, in a certain realm. That would be ample and sufficient punishment for all the misdeeds he has done in Christ’s name.

Cheers,

John

JBS Haldane was asked to define a test that would if confirmed disprove Darwin’s theory. He reportedly growled “rabbits in the pre-Cambrian”. So, the miracle-prayer-young_Earth lot have only to pray God to place one such fossil there, and we can all totally abandon experimental logic forever, and go back to the Dark Ages. Until they’ve done that, they should quit flooding the world of technology with their blasphemies.

Is God not smart enough to have thought of Natural Selection?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on April 24, 2008 11:50 PM.

Expelled Exposed: Midweek Roundup 04-23-2008 was the previous entry in this blog.

Where Ben Stein is caught in a lie and an infamous Kitzmillerian reviews expelled is the next entry in this blog.

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