I’ve been following the atheist blogosphere reaction to the movie EXPELLED closely. Last night, PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins tried to enter an advance screening. Myers was asked to leave by security and rushed out gleefully to blog about it. As a pro-life activist, I have to admire his moxie, but I would have gone the whole way and gotten arrested if it were his event.
There is a rich, deep kind of irony that must be shared. I’m blogging this from the Apple store in the Mall of America, because I’m too amused to want to wait until I get back to my hotel room. I went to attend a screening of the creationist propaganda movie, Expelled, a few minutes ago. Well, I tried … but I was Expelled! It was kind of weird — I was standing in line, hadn’t even gotten to the point where I had to sign in and show ID, and a policeman pulled me out of line and told me I could not go in. I asked why, of course, and he said that a producer of the film had specifically instructed him that I was not to be allowed to attend. The officer also told me that if I tried to go in, I would be arrested. I assured him that I wasn’t going to cause any trouble.
Here is my open letter to PZ Myers:
As a big proponent of the film EXPELLED, I don’t see any irony here at all. If anyone wants to see the Myers and Dawkins clips that badly, you can just go to my blog.
I saw the movie on Tuesday and was given a DVD with over 30 minutes of raw clips. We were told as teachers to show it in class and use it as a debate opportunity for our students to discuss the issue of censorship, and so on. Of course, they want it to go to people who will promote it and get our friends to come out to see the movie. (Yes, it’s a vast right wing conspiracy!)
The DVD has the infamous PZ Myers interview in which you say your goal is to destroy or marginalize religion. (If I was really smart, I would have bought 100 of these and sold them to on EBay to militant atheists for $20 a piece as “movie contraband.”) Movie producers often do promotional test screenings before the release. Certain types of people are invited and some are not. It would be no different if you tried to crash an advance test screening of Indiana Jones or Star Trek except the security would have been tighter. And yes, you should have been arrested if you trespassed in any private function. On the other hand, you are making a mountain out of a molehill, the clip you wanted to see is already on my website.
What is ironic is that you can see the parts you really want to see the most — there are numerous clips out there already — and you are making it sound as though it’s a huge conspiracy to bar you from the debate. What is happening with EXPELLED though is that some movie reviewers want to crash the gates early so they can pan the film and pronounce it DOA — as did Roger Moore (no, not 007 — he would have gotten in) the Orlando Sentinel reviewer.
It strikes me as odd because most reviewers who are allowed into advance screenings have the professional courtesy not to publish their reviews until the week the movie premieres. No such courtesy here. The political stakes are too high.
The MAIN reason the media is not invited to these screenings is because the film is in raw form and is not ready for the general public yet. We saw a high-res DVD version that was not quite cinema quality.
All the secrecy and the buzz is working toward a big box office. I know all you anti-ID-ers are warming your insides over this imagined “incident,” but how does it really work in your favor?
Controversy sells. More people are going to see the movie as a result. That’s what we all want, right?
If I didn’t believe in a higher intelligent design, I’d see it as a great cosmic irony.
That is a complete and utter lie. You should be ashamed of yourself. Anyone was free to go to a website and get sign up for the screening so they could attend for free. No special invite was required.
Maybe that is not accurate.
See Jeff Overstreet's eyewitness account (link above) for more details.
You made a faulty assumption based on flawed and incomplete information, extrapolated wildly, and then proudly trumpeted the resulting mess from the rooftops.
As a result, the ID movement looks petulant and childish yet again. The term, I believe, is "epic fail".
PZ Myers, and Stuart Blessman, have both commented in the original blog. I really recommend you, and your readers, check out the exchange.
For what it is worth, I am an atheist, but one who works actively to try and foster good relations between believers and unbelievers, as far as possible. I enjoy PZ Myer's blog; but my own approach is radically different. That's okay; I like variety.
Also, the name is "Myers"; and Richard Dawkins was, as far as I can see, neither a gatecrasher nor was he expelled.
And don't you find it just a bit odd that they would recognize PZ Myers in the credits, and use him in the film, but take special efforts to exclude him from a screening? They have the right, it seems; but it does make them look, to me, rather hypocritical.
Cheers -- Duae Quartunciae
So I am not going to descend into huge debate over what is meant by an "invited guest" and what "crashed" means. Since it was a free private screening I don't get the distinction anyway.
Did he have a right to be there at the free event if someone decided they didn't want him?
I get the idea that some might think it's hypocrisy, but Dawkins was allowed to speak and answer questions once he was in.
Have your say aboutt what an outrage this is, but also realize that controversy sells.
Yes! I would _love_ to see the Dawkins & Myers clips from "Expelled", I've heard that Dawkins says some really silly things! According to YouTube, it's a private video (I'm guessing you had to make it private out of respect for YouTube's copyright policy). Could you please "add" me so I can view the video? My YouTube username is:
“I think if you view it you will see that they were given their say and they made their case in a confrontational yet civil manner. I don't see how not knowing these were I.D. proponents makes a difference.”
So it was okay for the film-makers to misrepresent themselves and mislead the interviewees, was it? I sometimes wonder why people have religion if it doesn’t seem to improve their ethics and manners.
“They were not jump-edited out-of-context clips done in the way that Michael Moore does his mockumentaries.”
The editing of Dawkins when he spoke about rival theories to evolution was so obvious my children laughed at it. “I wonder what else he was going to say”, said my young son, as Dawkin’s words were cut mid-sentence. If Michael Moore does the same things it’s also dishonest. In fact, it is the very lesson we learn from the whole ID saga (which incidentally many other countries thinks is an example of the US gone gaga). It doesn’t matter if the whole thing is dishonest – as long as it supports your wishes and hopes. It seems christianity has not resulted in more honesty in its proponents.
“Hopefully this will dispel some of the nonsense from the militant atheists. But probably not.”
Ha ha ha ha… you’re the one who had to be corrected for spreading nonsense.
They were told they were shooting for a movie called Crossroads, about the overlapping on religion and science. You may be right that the clips weren't taken out of context, but the very interview was being shot on a fraudulent ground and that is the real outrage.
No one of the interviewed evolutionists would have done the interview if the producer of the film was honest with them and told them it was pure creationism (or I.D.) propaganda.
Which is absolutely true. The movie's name was changed later on.
You haven't seen the movie. It's not about I.D. or creationism. It's about the conflict of worldviews and the attempt in academia to stifle the debate.
I find it funny that Dawkins claims he didn't know who was interviewing him. It's Ferris Buehler's teacher -- arch-conservative Ben Stein -- staring him in the face the whole time!
First of all, there aren't going to be any atheists trying to "expel" this from YouTube. First of all, to issue a DMCA request to get it taken down, you'd have to be the rights holder, and that would be the production company, not any of the atheists. Also, seeing this up there is actually good for our cause, because Dawkins and Myers don't particularly say anything "out there". I think you'll find that most atheists are in agreement that it would be a good thing if religion slowly faded away.
As for your use of the phrase "militant atheist", well, that's just silly. When exactly was the last time any of the people you're referring to acted militant? They do science in laboratories and write in books and online - hardly militant! Methinks you're mistaking them with militant Islamists who, you know, actually do act militant and kill people. Kind of a silly mistake to make though, because one of the two believes in God and the other doesn't.
Either I don't have professional courtesy or this is not the same thing as a professional movie review published in the Orlando Sentinel, a mayor city newspaper. Take your pick.
My point was that movie reviewers usually wait for the week of the premiere to publish their objective comments on the film as a service to readers.
Film critics don't usually write politically motivated attack ads weeks before on their blogs telling people not to go. I didn't say it was unethical or dishonest -- it's just not their usual courteous behavior to jump the gun weeks beforehand to dismiss a movie -- especially when they were disinvited to the screening.
The film is very well done despite what anyone thinks about the message. When the final reviews are out people will read opinions based on a broad sweep of the film's merits and weaknesses.
The producers want to create a buzz. They have done it. Positive and negative.
It reminds me of the time a Christian campus group was advertising an evangelistic film at a table on the UMASS campus center and a guy in a devil suit showed up waving his arms and jumping up and down claiming they were a "cult" and not to see this film because it's "propaganda." He was passing out flyers telling people NOT to go.
Guess what happened?
Yes, and that's my point exactly!
They want to make a case that they were deceived into appearing in a film.
Yes, this is America's arch-conservative column writer -- Ferris Buehler's teacher -- one of the most recognized faces in America -- staring Dawkins in the face asking him questions.
They both signed release forms and were paid. They want people to react in horror that the film makers didn't share their agenda.
Yet nothing they say is taken out of context and I think they should be proud that they were allowed to state their case so well.
The filmmakers didn't tell them they were pro-I.D., but they honestly portrayed the film as MAINLY being about the intersection of worldviews. And it is.
The problem is that they are used to appearing before a sympathetic audience. Dawkins won't even do formal debates. Their whole M.O. is to ridicule and snipe at a distance.
But now a broader audience is seeing their comments presented in the context of a critique. That obviously bothers them.
Trying to present it as unethical or illegal is ridiculous.
Yes, after seeing the film and reviewing it on YouTube. Dawkins has now shifted tactics.
He can't say he was taken out of context or unfairly made to look bad.
Now he's saying that the movie is "boring" and "poorly done."
As a videographer who makes part of my living at it, I thought EXPELLED was fantastic considering it's budget.
And this is Dawkins talking! This is the same guy who did "Root of Evil!" He's actually saying that is better? Talk about being blinded by a colossal ego!
"Root of Evil" is a film that makes EXPELLED look like "Citizen Kane."
EXPELLED is a low budget documentary -- it's not going to win "Best Picture" but it's certainly the best made documentary on the screens in some time. It's much better than Michael Moore's films on many counts.
What do you mean “politically motivated attack ads weeks before on their blogs”? And what do you mean “disinvited to the screening”? It has already been established that it was not an invitation event. Stop bending the truth to suit your purpose. And if you are making insinuations about unethical or discourteous behaviour, spell it out. Don’t hide behind implied accusations.
“They want people to react in horror that the film makers didn't share their agenda.”
No, most educated people are horrified without their help that anyone could pass this off as science.
“The problem is that they are used to appearing before a sympathetic audience. Dawkins won't even do formal debates. Their whole M.O. is to ridicule and snipe at a distance.”
I suppose you know you are talking about a renowned Biologist - why would he even want to waste time debating a game show host and actor who is trying to drag humanity back into the Dark Ages.
“Trying to present it as unethical or illegal is ridiculous.”
So it’s Ok to lie then?
I am willing to concede your point about the manner in which hostile media reviewers and the threat of so-called "gate crashers" have been handled. If it were me, I'd realize that the controversy is going to sell the movie, and I would not have disinvited PZ Myers.
In the end though, I am not the producer. It is their screening in a venue they paid for. But for the sake of argument, let's say that Myers was an invited guest meeting all the required criteria. There is no "outrage" here. He knew he was and invited guest and was legally bound to leave when asked. No one has a RIGHT to see the movie until tickets are offered for sale.
This controversy is a smokescreen to mask the issues at hand. Dawkins and Myers know that shifting tactics is effective. For instance, now they are saying the movie is poorly done rather than deal with the issues raised in the movie. They simply DO NOT WANT a debate over the issues.
EXPELLED doesn't say that evolution should not be taught or doesn't have merits as science. It doesn't say that I.D. as science is absolutely correct. In fact, on the deabte over whether evolution occurred, the movie is fairly even handed.
EXPELLED is just saying that evolutionary science has changed a lot in the last 150 year. Darwinism has been replaced by a number of other adapted theories. EXPELLED makes the case that other alternative views need to be heard as well.
If a scientist publishes an article on I.D. he need to be critiqued and peer reviewed, not expelled from his position.
The whole point of the film is about how proponents of I.D. want a civil debate but are barred by such language.
Ever atheist blog I've seen uses harsh accusations such as yours and every four letter expletive in the book to describe what these scientists are trying to do -- to just be heard in a civil debate.
Dawkins, for instance, uses fallacious ad hominems and refuses to hear a rebuttal to his ludicrous atheistic claims in a formal debate. He does hit and run attacks and then smugly smirks at his ability to enrage supposedly "peaceful, loving" Christians.
It's exactly the type of behavior that EXPELLED criticizes.
Science doesn't attack alternative points of view as "not science." The very reaction of atheists to the film EXPELLED further proves our point.
The accomplishments of Dawkins are not to be lightly dismissed. But while Ben Stein is well known as an actor/comedian, he's also a syndicated conservative columnist, a degreed economist and speech writer for two U.S. presidents.
In the long run, EXPELLED isn't going to convince your ilk, but it's going to alert the majority of Americans who already believe in a Designer to the tactics of Herr Dawkins, Myers and their cadre of militant atheists in tow.
This gloating concern with getting attention does not reflect well on creationists. When someone is far more interested in promoting their claims and then moving on to the next promotion rather that sticking around to defend them, that's a very telling set of priorities.
This is the main reason why Dawkins and Myers never would have agreed to the film to begin with if they had known would be exclusively promoting the claims and PR messages of the ID movement (and good grief, don't claim it isn't: that's just silly). The ID movement lives and dies almost entirely as a PR campaign, not as serious science. And mainstream biologists have no desire to play into that PR campaign.
jay rodgers: "If a scientist publishes an article on I.D. he need to be critiqued and peer reviewed, not expelled from his position."
Were you under the impression, from the film, that there are any examples of this? The only ID article published the film mentions, as far as I know, was the Meyer article: an article that Sternberg had to sneak into a random journal on his last issue as editor that didn't even have anything to do with the subject matter of the journal (which was why the journal later dumped it, as well as refusing to publish rebuttal articles to it).
No one lost their position in anything over this publication. Sternberg behaved in a professionally dishonest way, but the worst he received was criticism. Which, apparently, is verboten in this new world of ID science, where ideas are to be judged on the basis of religious affirmative action rather than evidential merit.
What “required criteria”? And no one is arguing about his RIGHT to see the documentary. But doesn’t it seem hypocritical to you that he was asked to leave a doco called “Expelled – No intelligence allowed”? Isn’t the premise of the film that ID proponents are barred from certain institutions for having a different opinion? So kicking out a scientist for checking out the arguments of ID doesn’t strike you as mind-bogglingly ironic, to say the least.
“This controversy is a smokescreen to mask the issues at hand. Dawkins and Myers know that shifting tactics is effective. For instance, now they are saying the movie is poorly done rather than deal with the issues raised in the movie. They simply DO NOT WANT a debate over the issues.”
You are definitely fooling yourself if you think the science community is at all threatened by the flimsy arguments from ID. Okay, put it this way. Say, someone came up with the idea that all rocks on earth have been thrown from alien space-craft. Should geologist take up their valuable research and teaching time debating such nonsense? Should all we have learned about geology be turned upside down to accommodate this? What you are arguing is that the whole science community has conspired to keep out a wonderful new theory because it threatens them in some way. Science thrives on new theories. That’s how we have advanced – medically, technologically and many other ways. The fact that we are blogging now on this topic we owe to the evidence-based methods of science. I would even venture to say that most of us are alive because of medical technology – because a hundred years ago, many of us would have died in childbirth or by diseases we can now treat with antibiotics. In fact, the treatment of viruses has come about because of our knowledge of evolution. Would you like your children to be medically treated by people who disregard the knowledge we have gained about disease?
“EXPELLED doesn't say that evolution should not be taught or doesn't have merits as science. It doesn't say that I.D. as science is absolutely correct. In fact, on the deabte over whether evolution occurred, the movie is fairly even handed.”
There is no debate in the scientific community about evolution as there is none about whether the world is flat. It is considered straight-out nonsense.
“If a scientist publishes an article on I.D. he need to be critiqued and peer reviewed, not expelled from his position.”
If ID is peer-reviewed it wouldn’t get past the review stage, not because of a conspiracy but because it is not science, as you well know. It is religion.
"Every atheist blog I've seen uses harsh accusations such as yours and every four letter expletive in the book to describe what these scientists are trying to do -- to just be heard in a civil debate.”
I have debated on science blogs and I have debated on Christian blogs. On science blogs, everyone gets a chance. On most christian blogs, you are lucky if you are not moderated off the blog. It is definitely on these sites that debates are not welcome. When I post on a science blog, my post appears immediately. This has never happened on a christian blog. And I don’t swear. What harsh accusations have I posted here? That ID is nonsense. It’s the conclusion I have come to after much research and reading. How many books on evolution have you read?
“Dawkins, for instance, uses fallacious ad hominems and refuses to hear a rebuttal to his ludicrous atheistic claims in a formal debate. He does hit and run attacks and then smugly smirks at his ability to enrage supposedly "peaceful, loving" Christians.”
I have read every Dawkins book. He would not be a major Biologist if he worked the way you suggest. Give me an example – a citation – where he does what you claim.
“It's exactly the type of behavior that EXPELLED criticizes.”
It’s exactly the type of behaviour the producers of Expelled have engaged in.
“Science doesn't attack alternative points of view as "not science." The very reaction of atheists to the film EXPELLED further proves our point.”
Science does attack other views as not science. Otherwise, science would be stuck in ideology-land and would never progress.
“The accomplishments of Dawkins are not to be lightly dismissed. But while Ben Stein is well known as an actor/comedian, he's also a syndicated conservative columnist, a degreed economist and speech writer for two U.S. presidents.”
But he’s not a scientist.
“In the long run, EXPELLED isn't going to convince your ilk, but it's going to alert the majority of Americans who already believe in a Designer to the tactics of Herr Dawkins, Myers and their cadre of militant atheists in tow.”
What’s my ilk? And, wow, talk about ad hominem arguments. People who disagree with ID are Nazis are they (Herr Dawkins?)? And you admit, that ID is about religion. Good. I rest my case.
The purpose of pre-screenings is to open up the movie to enthusiastic leaders of pro-I.D. organizations who will advertize via grassroots strategies.
Having free pre-screenings open to the general public defeats that purpose.
Dawkins and Myers were not wanted in the pre-screening because they were not going to be positive promoters. Period. But no one is going to bar them once the movie premieres.
Likewise they KNEW that they were likely to be EXPELLED if they showed up at the movie and caused a scene. It was all planned out ahead of time. The tactic of Myers and Dawkins is always going to be to throw up smokescreens:
"These I.D.-iots are all hypocrites because they wouldn't allow us in to see their movie for free with all the others."
It's just the typical smokescreen.
The argument both with you and them seems to be, "Well I.D. is not science and these I.D.ers are not scientists, so there is no debate."
That's the thrust of EXPELLED and you are basically agreeing that it is true.
Dawkins has said that he doesn't debate people who believe in God because he likens it to debating whether there is a "spaghetti monster." It's beneath his dignity.
He just dictates, ridicules and presents his idea of the truth. There is no level playing field in which even people like me with inferior intelligence can point out his glaring fallacies.
One such fallacy that you spout is that atheism equals science and therefore atheism has given us every scientific advancement that we enjoy, while Christianity is not compatible with science. Therefore if Christians were allowed their way we wouldn't even have computers to have this debate.
You are just repeating their empty rhetoric. It's not original and it just denies reality.
Almost every founder of every modern science was a committed orthodox Christian. It was Christianity that gave people the idea that the universe is an orderly place subject to universal scientific laws.
Christianity gave us universal literacy and 95 percent of the universites founded in this coutnry and Europe.
Like Ben Stein I am not a scientist, and therefore I usually don't argue the finer details of evolutionary science. However, Darwinism is more than just a scientific theory. It is a comprehensive worldview that affects every area of human life.
It affects politics, economics, social science, literature, etc.
That is my interest in this: examining worldviews. And that is also part of what EXPELLED tries to do -- to examine the broader implications of Darwinism some of which are negative.
EXPELLED compares the wolrdview of Darwinism to the eugenics movement because racial genocide it is a logical extension of "natural selection" and "survival of the fittest."
And contrary to your claims it takes pains to point out that very few Darwinists have been Nazi eugenicists.
I agree with you that racism is not "scientific" but Darwinism had far reaching social implications that went beyond science.
People need to be made aware of that dangerous possibility.
Christianity teaches that we are all one race and that all men and women have equal dignity and value because we were each created in the image of God.
You may not believe in the Christian view of race, but it is totally incompatible with the idea of racism and genocide, while modern atheistic social Darwinism is completely compatible with the worst type of immorality and atrocity.
“Likewise they KNEW that they were likely to be EXPELLED if they showed up at the movie and caused a scene. It was all planned out ahead of time.”
How do you know this? And they didn’t cause a scene as even Stuart Blessman has stated. They didn’t plan to AND they didn’t. Stop lying. If you can’t defend your position through the truth, change it. PZ Myers didn’t even care that he was kicked out. He thought it was funny and ironic, considering the premise of the movie. He knows he will be able to see it. That’s not the point. So stop repeating the lie over and over. Lying is wrong.
“The argument both with you and them seems to be, "Well I.D. is not science and these I.D.ers are not scientists, so there is no debate.That's the thrust of EXPELLED and you are basically agreeing that it is true. "
Yes, of course there’s no debate if it isn’t a science. BUT that’s not what ID proponents are is saying. They are saying that ID IS a science. That’s the problem.
“One such fallacy that you spout is that atheism equals science and therefore atheism has given us every scientific advancement that we enjoy, while Christianity is not compatible with science. Therefore if Christians were allowed their way we wouldn't even have computers to have this debate.”
Wrong again. I have not said that atheism is science. And there are many scientists who are Christians (as you state). But they still do real science. If we disregarded the scientific method, which is what ID does and that is why it is not regarded as a science, we would indeed not be able to have this discussion on a computer. Name one scientific advance made by religion. Just one would do. (Spreading literacy, although admirable, is not a science.) It would take me decades to write all those advances made by the scientific method. I’m not even advancing the argument that religion is wrong. Just that ID is religion and it is wrong to call it science. If you don’t know why, you should research this further.
Your arguments that evolution leads to racism and the holocaust – well, I’m sorry, but it’s plain nuts. And it’s mean as well. Hitler was a Christian - something he said often. You should research further. Once you start branching out from your narrow view, you will find a wonderful world out there that’s not full of the lies that you clearly feel the need to cling to. ID is a terrible lie and most of the world is falling about laughing that one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world is promoting such nonsense. In my country, not one Christian I have ever encountered thinks it’s anything but nuts. Sorry, Jay, but you are on the wrong side of history and your grandchildren will laugh at you.
Science also confirms that we are all one race. From this we can conclude that men and women as well as all races have equal value. In fact science doesn’t acknowledge the existence of “race”. It is always in inverted commas if used by a scientist or sociologist.
In his most recent blog entry, Dawkins wrote that when it came to the issue of race, he is not a Darwinist. I applaud his inconsistency in that one area.
"You did not answer one question I asked."
I count 15 questions in your posts. I am sure I tried to answer all of them. Tell me which one you are thinking of and I'll answer it again.
I think you may be thinking of:
**WAS IT OKAY TO LIE?**
No, it's the wrong question to ask.
It's me asking you: "How long have you been taking drugs?"
I don't think the investigators were lying according to journalistic ethics. To get interviews, reporters usually give subjects the bare facts about the nature of the medium. Then it is up to the interviewees to accept or decline. In Myers case, $1200 check for a few minutes of conversation probably was the deciding factor here. Dawkins did a subsequent interview after the first one conducted by Stein himself.
Ben Stein! That is so covert!
I noticed that none of the scientists returned the money. None are suing. All took the money and all signed releases. So I don't take their claim that they were lied to seriously. Only people ignorant of the process of journalism will swallow that.
For instance, we recently refused to share some video footage from our documentary GOD'S LAW AND SOCIETY http://www.forerunner.com/law/law.html with a documentarian who was putting together a film on the intersection of faith and politics. He couldn't tell us whether it was going to to be pro or con, so we refused. I don't accept the idea that any documentary is ever strictly "neutral" in its point of view. There is always an agenda toward a certain message.
If Dawkins, et al, thought that this was going to be pro or neutral from the simple description they were given, then they were naively hopeful. They knew the possibilities and were prepared to cry "foul." It's just that 90 percent of the time, the media loves them. Whenever the media doesn't cover them favorably they are prepared to protest. They know that controversy gives them attention too.
I think Dawkins and Myers are loving this movie, but obviously they are going to try to spin it every which way they can.
EXPELLED had an agenda to be controversial as well, but I think the way in which the opposing scientists were treated int he movie was even handed.
Have you seen it yourself?
I think it is better for them to have appeared to state their case as they wanted. I haven't heard any charges from any of the scientists that their interviews were edited out of context.
I'd like to ask Dawkins and Myers this question:
"When you cooked up the idea of going to the screening, what did the conversation go like?"
"Did you discuss what you would do if you got in? Raise a protest about being interviewed under false pretenses? If you were barred from entering, didn't you have that spin tactic already designed?"
They got BOTH of their wishes fulfilled, one got in and the other got expelled, and they used the opportunity effectively in both cases.
But to think that they blundered into this ingenious tactic is naive. These are intelligent men who are good at media spin. They understand cause and effect, input and outcome. It's a big part of their success formula -- to attack Christians and then to use the media attenticn to spin it toward their ultimate goal -- using the reaction to garner confederate sympathy for their actions. And most of the time the media is all too happy to help out.
The tactic in this case seems to be to either dismiss the movie as boring and stupid or to dismiss the filmmakers as unethical hacks. Dawkins and Myers tried to do both simultaneously. But I think that many people like me will think it EXPELLED is fascinating, entertaining and effective.
But a lot of this bluster blocks positive dialogue on the issue from occurring.
For instance, I am glad you accept that evangelical Christians can be good scientists. That's the core of what the debate is about, so in a sense we agree already.
I think we also should agree on the following:
1. Ultimately I.D. may be proven to be either unscientific or an unprovable hypothesis through normal scientific inquiry.
I am 100 percent in agreement with that because I am not a metaphysical naturalist. I don't think science can uncover all truth. So I don't feel threatened by a naysaying.
But wouldn't you also agree that since there have not been numerous articles and reviews of the theory, that nothing has been examined or decided? One hundred years ago, everyone believed in lumineferous ether. There was one scientist who doubted and he turned out to be right -- even though everuyone thought he was "nuts." Today every physicist has rejected wave theory and accepts relativity. Maybe in 50 years another theory will win out.
The point is that there are numerous proponents of I.D. There is a divide even though the I.D. proponents are the minority. So the hypothesis should be examined with equal measures scientific skepticism and unbiased investigation until a universal consensus is reached. To simply say, "Well these are not true scientists and this is not science," is a denial of scientific rigor.
2. In 100 years, current Neo-Darwinist theory will have been drastically altered to fit new data.
Therefore, it is wrong to speak of evolutionary theory as anything other than than a model to explain the fact that species change over period so time. The current theory does not adequately explain the origin of life or whether total organic evolution occured.
3. Christians who hold a viewpoint of biblical inerrancy will continue to grow in influence the earth in the next 100 years.
I've always enjoyed making the "history will prove you wrong" claim. Whan I look at the trend of history I think that the Christian religion will continue to enjoy unbridled success in all the nations of the world. The Gospel will continue influence every area of human life -- including science, the arts and media, education, civil politics, and so on.
I welcome debates such as these because it allows people to see a point-counterpoint argument and make a decision based on logic and common sense.
I believe history is on the Lord's side because He is the author of His-story.
Thank you for the opportunity to let us state our case.
"Name one scientific advance made by religion. Just one would do."
The invention of the printing press.
It was financed, invented and developed by Christians and was used primarily for the first 100 years to print Bibles and religious literature.
In fact, all of the scientific advances of the Renaissance were financed directly or indirectly through the church.
Your question reminds me of the Monty Python sketch about the People's Front of Judea in Life of Brian.
Reg: Name one thing the Romans ever did for us!
(A long list of accomplishments and then ...)
Reg: All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Attendee: Brought peace?
Reg: Oh, peace - shut up!
Reg: There is not one of us who would not gladly suffer death to rid this country of the Romans once and for all.
Dissenter: Uh, well, one.
Reg: Oh, yeah, yeah, there's one. But otherwise, we're solid.
If believers would focus on praying for individuals like Dawkins, and that the Holy Spirit would move mightily in his heart, so much more would be accomplished. He's a good speaker and a clever individual, and I'd love to see him change his heart.
God used Paul of Saul of Tarsus, remember?
May I ask who told you this?
What are you, a spy for the ACLU?
Or maybe a teacher who wants to do something new and interesting with your classes?
That idea about the "censorship" issue came from a teacher. She made copies and got interest from other teachers in her department. "Censorship" discussions in class are politically correct these days.
The DVD also came with classroom and small group resources. That's the main idea behind the movie: to generate a debate over the issue of censorship.
You hope I am not a science teacher, and I hope you are not a history teacher!
As a high school student, I read part of William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich because my history teacher said it was the definitive history on WWII and the most accurate biography of Hitler.
A lot of atheists like to bandy about the charge of Hitler being a "Catholic" or a Christian -- or somehow link the holocaust with Christianity.
Of course, the very opposite is true.
It's chilling to read atheist blogs and consider that they use the same nonsense that characterized the Nazi's propoganda against the Bible and the brave Christian pastors and Catholic priests who resisted them.
I just give you William L. Shirer and let you form your opinion based on that:
"On July 25 , ... the German government promulgated a sterilization law, which particularly offended the Catholic Church. Five days later the first steps were taken to dissolve the Catholic Youth League. During the next years, thousands of Catholic priests, nuns and lay leaders were arrested, many of them on trumped up charges of 'immorality' or of 'smuggling foreign currency.'"
"Dr. Reinholdt Krause, the Berlin district leader of the sect, proposed the abandonment of the Old Testament, 'with its tales of cattle merchants and pimps' and the revision of the New Testament with the teaching of Jesus corresponding entirely with the demands of National Socialism. Resolutions were drawn up demanding 'One People, One Reich, One Faith,' requiring all pastors to take an oath of allegiance to Hitler and insisting that all churches institute the Aryan paragraph and exclude converted Jews."
"Not many Germans lost much sleep over the arrests of a few thousand pastors and priests or over the quarreling of Protestant sects. And even fewer paused to reflect that under the leadership of Rosenberg, Borman and Himmler, who were backed by Hitler, the Nazi regime intended to destroy Christianity in Germany, if it could, and substitute the old paganism of the early tribal Germanic gods and the new paganism of the Nazi extremists. As Bormann, one of the men closest to Hitler, said in 1941, 'National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable.'"
""They were told they were shooting for a movie called Crossroads, about the overlapping on religion and science."
Which is absolutely true. The movie's name was changed later on."
Actually, not true. They had already registered "expelledthemovie.com" in March 2007, which is months before they interviewed Eugenie Scott, P.Z. Myers, and Richard Dawkins. Further the "Crossroads" film was supposedly being made by "Rampant Films," which had a fake website set up online with various innocuous film descriptions as its alleged projects, when in fact the real company making the film was "Premise Media." The producers of the film were intentionally deceptive, using the same tactics as the producers of "Borat" to fool people into participating in their project.
That's the nature of doing media interviews. You don't always get to know or control the outcome of the product ahead of time.
I've seen the liberal media do it with conservative Christian activists dozens of times -- just in a much worse, much less even-handed way as the producers of EXPELLED.
Dawkins and Myers could have asked if the movie producers were pro- or con- a certain point of view. If the producers then lied about it, then Dawkins and Myers would have a case.
But it seems that every time Dawkins doesn't get favorable treatment, he cries out that the people who are critiquing him are evil hypocrites.
I'd like to see them stick to the debate. But apparently they think it's more effective to write off their critics as beneath their dignity.
For all their intelligence, it's really quite juvenile if they believe they are being mistreated or mischaracterized. Or else they know what they are doing and think that you, their followers, are completely gullible saps to go along with their cry baby tactics.