Another Expelled roundup


The volume of email coming into my mailbox is a bit overwhelming right now — that silly story about getting expelled from Expelled was funny enough that it got picked up all over the world, an opportunity that you’d think some communications experts would use advantageously … but that’s another argument. There has been an uptick in nasty “I-will-pray-for-you-and-laugh-when-you-roast-in-hell” messages, but the majority have been positive, with a lot saying they like the site and are going to be return readers. This is not going to be an all-Expelled-all-the-time blog, however, despite the fact that right now most of my non-spam email seems to be about Expelled. Here, then, in one place, are some of the more interesting recent articles I’ve been sent about the fiasco, and then we’ll move on for the rest of the day.

  • Amanda Gefter got into a screening and reinforces our opinions: it’s a poorly made movie that clumsily tries to associate evolution with Hitler, and that the producer, Mark Mathis, is a bullying control freak. She also makes an excellent point: the Intelligent Design movement has been desperate to publicly distance itself from religion, yet this movie argues that ID is religious.

  • Scott Hatfield digs into the background of the Expelled team. It’s nutty fundagelical Christian kooks all the way down, with not an iota of science expertise among them. I know. That is so surprising.

  • Speaking of a complete absence of knowledge…ah, Uncommon Descent. UD has been having so much fun with this story, especially since one of our local sciencebloggers gave them some useful apologetics. Unfortunately for them, if you read the succession of accounts they give — and do note, none of these people were there — they are mutually contradictory and completely divorced from the facts. Trust me, their kind of sloppy, speculative, and false approach to a recent incident accurately parallels their explanations of life’s origins, too.

Comments

  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    despite the fact that right now most of my non-spam email seems to be about Expelled.

    A few slight tweaks to your filter to redefine “spam” should take care of that.

  2. Chad says

    Perhaps we could try to convince them all this bad PR and ridiculous bungling of th entire issue is a sign from god?

    Thou shalt not bear false witness.

  3. vlad says

    You’d think that by this point they would tuck tail and hide. No they rally the stupid and try to out shout the rest of us.

    As far as the burning in hell while they laugh I have only one regret. If there is nothing after death there will be no one to laugh at them when the pop out of existence.

  4. schmeer says

    …none of these people were there — they are mutually contradictory and completely divorced from the facts.

    Like the Bible!

  5. philos says

    PZ – you may wish to splice your two postings together (repeated).

    Too bad no one had a video of the incedent. (cam phone?)

  6. says

    By the way, here’s something you can use to counter the crap being spewed by the Concern Troll/Energy Critters seeking hits from attacking you:

    The best way to get a right-winger’s attention (and to convert him/her): Drop the mealy-mouthed ‘nice guy’ crap and go straight for the gut. Right-wingers, who make up a large chunk of the creationist crowd, find it easier to listen to reason if the person doing the reasoning looks tough and not wimpy.

  7. Carlie says

    From Amanda’s, worth reposting:

    “I also couldn’t help thinking that the intelligent design folks aren’t being silenced, so much as they’re being silent. Because when it comes to actually explaining anything, they’ve got nothing to say. ”

    That is beautiful.

  8. says

    As Hatfield so eloquently explicated, there is not one iota of science expertise in this shitball flick. Anywhere? Anywhere? No, none allowed.

  9. says

    If there is nothing after death there will be no one to laugh at them when they pop out of existence.

    Which is exactly why the life-after-death myth appeals to the mendacious weasels who ply Pascal’s Wager and other smug cant.

    If I were their God, I’d save the hottest sulphur to boil their unctuous asses in. Whatever else might be said about the Abrahamic God, he has piss-poor taste in followers.

  10. deejay says

    Mutually contradictory statements from Uncommon Descent???

    That must be a first. Unless of course, you’re asking about the age of the earth or the tree of life. You know, little things. Or even littler things, like where certain cellular animations came from.

  11. says

    The Expelled marketing folks emailed me today regarding the forthcoming private screenings. Seems they have had to be rescheduled “due to unavoidable changes in the travel plans of the producers.” They promise to notify those who RSVP’d the new show dates.

    I await the news with bated breath.

  12. wnelson says

    “ID is religious.”

    Myers, you really, really need walk yourself across campus and spend some time in the philosophy department. (Unless you are deliberately playing on your audience’s ignorance of epistemology.)

    Thus the question “Why science?” leads back to the moral problem: Why have morality at all when life, nature, and history are “not moral”? No doubt, those who are truthful in that audacious and ultimate sense that is presupposed by the faith in science thus affirm another world than the world of life, nature, and history; and insofar as they affirm this “other world”–look, must they not by that same token negate its counterpart, this world, our world?–But you will have gathered what I am driving at, namely, that it is still a metaphysical faith upon which our faith in science rests–that even we seekers after knowledge today, we godless anti-metaphysicians, still take our fire, too, from the flame lit by a faith that is thousands of years old, that Christian faith which was also the faith of Plato, that God is the truth, that truth is divine.
    -Nietzsche

  13. Marc Buhler says

    Well, I haven’t seen “Expelled” yet and I can tell you *I* have already made my mind up about it.

    [wanders away to learn yet a bit more about evolution….]

    (signed) marc

  14. says

    At the risk of reheating a theme I tub-thumped on yesterday, I cannot believe how counterproductive Nisbet’s suggestion is to shut up… SHUT UP… SHUTTTT UPPPP!

    He wishes to restrict the channels of communication in order to keep ‘Science’ on-message and craft his ‘frame’. But this audacious plan fall flat on its face at the first hurdle.

    What Nisbet ignores is that this plays to the Christers’ frame. They have painted science as an egg-headed establishment and themselves as the persecuted majority. If we were to accede to Nisbet’s wishes and shut down the alternative channels we could not gift the enemy a better weapon to wield against us. We would appear to be an elitist minority of insignificant size compared to their anti-establishment mass movement.

    No, we must play against this type at all costs. If anything we require a larger and more vocal grassroots of our own. A difficult thing, as it seems there is a multitude of malignant godly out there. However, it must be done. We need more free-thinking blogs, not fewer. We need more voices ringing loud and clear, and damn the pearl-clutchers shuddering at our rudery. It may, of course, confirm a different suspicion of the god-botherers–that the forces of Satan are abroad in numbers. However, I feel we are better off flexing our strength rather than admitting weakness, which is what Nisbet’s scheme most certainly would do.

    All this is easy for me to say, of course, slacker and poltroon that I am. It now needs a few good citizens to stand up and do it.

  15. says

    Everyone please ignore teh troll ‘disemvoweled’. Believe me, it’s not worth it.

    Posted by: ennui

    Yes, facing the inconvenient truth is never worth it. Just ignore it.

  16. ennui says

    wnelson: If, as you say, ID is not religious, then kindly explain a) the Wedge Document and b) the rewrites of the book ‘Of Pandas and People‘. Thought so.

  17. says

    dsmvwld: Your concern is noted. Jog on, muppet.

    Posted by: ennui

    So you refuse to discuss why Dawkins linked Darwinian evolution with fascism 3 years ago, but seems to have a problem with such a link now?

  18. chaos_engineer says

    Why have morality at all when life, nature, and history are “not moral”?

    Wnelson, that Neitzsche guy is a notorious troll; I saw him posting on another blog a few days ago and he was saying something even stupider. You shouldn’t let him trick you into repeating his nonsense.

    The reason we have morality is that people who live in societies with a sensible moral code tend to be better-off than people who live in a state of anarchy. People want to be better-off, so they tend to gravitate towards sensible moral codes. (But it takes a lot of trial-and-error to identify the most sensible moral code; we’ve made a lot of progress over the past million years but there’s still room for improvement.)

    There’s no “faith in science” as such. Some people think science is interesting, so they study it. Other people think science is boring, so they don’t study it. Applied science frequently makes people better-off, so many societies have made a pragmatic decision to encourage or even subsidize people who find science interesting.

  19. David Marjanović, OM says

    Why should we ignore the trolls? It’s more fun to make them put up or shut up. Here goes:

    it is still a metaphysical faith upon which our faith in science rests

    Nietzsche didn’t know what he was talking about. Science isn’t about truth. It’s about reality.

    Perhaps solipsism is truth. Can you disprove that? No. It’s impossible to disprove. So science ignores the boring questions about truth and limits itself to reality.

    Dawkins linked Darwinian evolution with fascism 3 years ago

    Show us.

    No, I’m not going to give the Disinformation Institute any web traffic. Post here what Dawkins said. (In context.)

  20. David Marjanović, OM says

    Why should we ignore the trolls? It’s more fun to make them put up or shut up. Here goes:

    it is still a metaphysical faith upon which our faith in science rests

    Nietzsche didn’t know what he was talking about. Science isn’t about truth. It’s about reality.

    Perhaps solipsism is truth. Can you disprove that? No. It’s impossible to disprove. So science ignores the boring questions about truth and limits itself to reality.

    Dawkins linked Darwinian evolution with fascism 3 years ago

    Show us.

    No, I’m not going to give the Disinformation Institute any web traffic. Post here what Dawkins said. (In context.)

  21. Eric says

    wnelson,

    Which specific morals do you pretend to be exclusive to you and your religion only?

  22. Cheezits says

    Why have morality at all when life, nature, and history are “not moral”?

    Why have red hair when nature isn’t red-haired? Why have a sense of humor when history isn’t funny? It’s the nature of the beast.

  23. Cheezits says

    Which specific morals do you pretend to be exclusive to you and your religion only?

    The ones that make lying okay. HTH.

  24. says

    Hopefully I’ll enjoy my willful ignorance as much as you’re enjoying yours, but I’m making a deliberate effort to educate myself. Unfortunately you can’t say the same thing; you’re only making a deliberate effort to avoid responding to serious questions.

  25. wnelson says

    #21 “wnelson: If, as you say, ID is not religious, then kindly explain a) the Wedge Document and b) the rewrites of the book ‘Of Pandas and People’. Thought so.”

    It helps if you read the whole post. ;-) The point is that the term “religious” is misdirection — everyone has to have faith-based presuppositions in order to function. I can’t prove God exists, anymore than Pascal could, or someone that believes Kant prove that his noumenal world exists — the same goes for the paradigms of Hegel or Sartre. You start with your beliefs, then validate them in specifically “religious” ways. Epistemology isn’t something you opt out of.

  26. Stuart Ritchie says

    Nah, I think Dawkins did actually say that, but it’s not a problem particularly.

    What he was referring to in that interview is a Social Darwinist state, where the ‘weak’ are cut out of the gene pool etc etc. This is, of course, a gross misunderstanding and mangling of Darwin’s theory of evolution (in the same way as it would be a mangling of any scientific theory to use it socially – classic is/ought mistake).

    Dawkins was attacking Social Darwinists in that interview in 2005, and in his review of Expelled he is attacking people who don’t understand that Darwinian Natural Selection DOES NOT EQUAL Social Darwinism.

    Sorry for feeding the troll, but it had to be said.

  27. Jack Rawlinson says

    dsmvwld: you seem to be struggling with elementary reading comprehension. Dawkins is objecting to the crass and clumsy attempts of “Expelled” to suggest that Darwinism necessarily leads to fascist/nazi/totalitarian horrors, and perhaps even more to the way this is harped on in the film as if it somehow provided ammunition against the truth of evolutionary theory which, of course, it doesn’t. It is this shameless propagandising which Dawkins finds to be an “outrage” rather than whether or not Hitler really did use “garbled Darwinism” to support his evil (and he freely concedes – both in the piece you linked and in his recent review – that maybe he did).

    Let’s look at a more complete quote from that recent review, shall we? Again, notice that Dawkins not only makes no attempt to deny his previous words on Darwin and fascism, he restates them. [The emphases below are mine]

    “The alleged association between Darwinism and Nazism is harped on for what seems like hours, and it is quite simply an outrage. We are supposed to believe that Hitler was influenced by Darwin. Hitler was ignorant and bonkers enough for his hideous mind to have imbibed some sort of garbled misunderstanding of Darwin (along with his very ungarbled understanding of the anti-semitism of Martin Luther, and of his own never-renounced Roman Catholic religion) but it is hardly Darwin’s fault if he did. My own view, frequently expressed (for example in the The Selfish Gene and especially in the title chapter of A Devil’s Chaplain) is that there are two reasons why we need to take Darwinian natural selection seriously. Firstly, it is the most important element in the explanation for our own existence and that of all life. Secondly, natural selection is a good object lesson in how NOT to organize a society. As I have often said before, as a scientist I am a passionate Darwinian. But as a citizen and a human being, I want to construct a society which is about as un-Darwinian as we can make it. I approve of looking after the poor (very un-Darwinian). I approve of universal medical care (very un-Darwinian). It is one of the classic philosophical fallacies to derive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’. Stein (or whoever wrote his script for him) is implying that Hitler committed that fallacy with respect to Darwinism. If we look at more recent history, the closest representatives you’ll find to Darwinian politics are uncompassionate conservatives like Margaret Thatcher, George W Bush, or Ben Stein’s own hero, Richard Nixon. Maybe all these people, along with the Social Darwinists from Herbert Spencer to John D Rockefeller, committed the is/ought fallacy and justified their unpleasant social views by invoking garbled Darwinism. Anyone who thinks that has any bearing whatsoever on the truth or falsity of Darwin’s theory of evolution is either an unreasoning fool or a cynical manipulator of unreasoning fools. I will not speculate as to which category includes Ben Stein and Mark Mathis.”

    In other words, Dawkins is being entirely consistent in what he says on this issue today, and what he has said in the past. Try again.

  28. raven says

    dimvwld, Liar for Jesus and Hit and Run Troll:

    So was it clumsy of Dawkins to link Darwinian evolution with fascism, too?

    Was it clumsy of Martin Luther to advocate a Final Solution to eliminate all the Jews?

    What is clumsy of the German Xian Nazis to carry it out and use that as their defense at Nurenburg?

    Martin Luther wikipedia:

    In the treatise, Luther writes that the Jews are a “base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth.”[1] They are full of the “devil’s feces … which they wallow in like swine,”[2] and the synagogue is an “incorrigible whore and an evil slut …”[3] He argues that their synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness,[4] afforded no legal protection,[5] and these “poisonous envenomed worms” should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time.[6] He also seems to advocate their murder, writing “[w]e are at fault in not slaying them.”[7]

  29. Stuart Ritchie says

    And of course, if you think Social Darwinism is THE ONLY THING that caused Nazi Germany (as the ‘EXPELLED!’ whackos do), then, well, you’re an idiot.

  30. Stuart Ritchie says

    Jack Rawlinson – I now wish I hadn’t posted, because you said it so much better than my clumsy account ever could.

    Trolls, get it right up ye.

  31. wnelson says

    chaos_engineer: “There’s no “faith in science” as such.”

    Of course there is — you’ve already decided, a priori, that the intellect is sufficient to individuate any and all relevant facts — even facts that are by definition outside of your ability to perceive. By definition, you have dogmatically asserted what may or may not exist.

    Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.

  32. ennui says

    wnelson: Sure, no one can ever know a ding an sich, and I understood your point that everything reduces to faith because of first assumptions. I do not agree.

    While we may not be able to ‘look behind the veil’ to see whether our sensory perceptions correspond to Realityâ„¢, it is an inductive process that guides us, not one of pure faith.

  33. Damian says

    dsmvwld:

    I realize that subtlety, nuance, accuracy and honesty are not exactly words that are associated with those at the forefront of the ID creationism movement.

    Dawkins has been very clear about what he thinks a society run in accordance with Darwinian principles would be like – not pleasant, and why should they be? As MET is a scientific explanation and not a political ideology, it should be fairly clear that the two shouldn’t mix. I promise you, sincerely, we cannot help it if nature doesn’t conform to our own ideals.

    Anyway, religion was invented to do just that – and you get a free bearded deity along for the ride, also. It is just a shame that so many religionists don’t join us in the 21st century and update the story a little bit. You know, get with the times and all that, and stop thinking that gay bashing is all the rage? It’s so first century.

    Nobody has ever said that Hitler wasn’t influenced in any way by his own strange perversion of science. He was. But he was also influenced by his hatred for the Jews and clearly credits religion, in part, for that, as well as many other things. Be a good boy – go and remind the Dishonesty Institute and the makers of Expelled of that, will you?

    No serious historian believes that the Theory of Evolution, or science in general, was even close to being the main influence behind Nazism, yet that is how it is portrayed by the makers of Expelled, and has been in ID creationism circles, for some time. Rewriting history; especially one that is so painful, to so many people, is beyond contempt. That is the complaint. It is dishonest propaganda, pure and simple. You don’t argue against a scientific theory by lying about who it has influenced, and to what extent.

    It is fairly clear that Expelled is exploiting images of the Holocaust, disgracefully, and in an attempt to motivate its audience emotionally in to opposing what really is just a scientific theory. You may approve of that. I think that it is nearly as low as you can get.

    I will leave you with a quote from someone who really cared about what happened in Nazi Germany:

    “It is said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That is false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz, this is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

    Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known, we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge or error, and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

    … We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.”

    -Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man, (passage spoken at Auschwitz)

    Now, go shit on someone else’s lawn.

  34. Kseniya says

    Right, Stuart. Of course the IDer wants to misinterpret that as “Darwinism necessarily leads to Fascism.” What they want, of course, is “Darwin created Hitler,” which as we all know is nonsense.

    Anyway, it’s all crap. It’s argument from consequences, and has nothing to do with the science. If we want to live in a society that protects, rather than rejects, its weakest members, then that’s what we should strive to create. It has nothing to do with the correctness or even the appeal of the ToE. Anyway, the idea of weeding out the weak predates Darwin by millenia – another inconvenient truth the creationists always choose to overlook.

    Well, it’s often been said: creationism is a dishonest enterprise at its core, and leads to dishonest behaviors. Thank you, Blake Stacey.

    dsm-v’s link points here.

    Which in turn points here, which is the full article in German. David in particular may be interested in taking a look at it.

    WNelson, I have a terrible problem, which is that whenever I read your posts, I see hear them spoken in Willie Nelson’s voice, with “On The Road Again” playing in the background. I’m trying to retrain my brain not to do that, cuz it’s making me… well… Crazy. ;-)

  35. says

    In real world, the lobbying for the Florida “academic freedom bill” continues:

    Creationism vs. evolution turns up in Legislature
    news-press.com Tallahassee bureau • March 25, 2008

    The long-running argument of creationism vs. evolution moves to the Legislature this week and supporters of a controversial “academic freedom” bill are mustering their troops.

    Early this year, the State Board of Education adopted a new science curriculum that includes evolution but calls it a “theory,” not necessarily a scientific fact. Some critics are pushing a bill in the House and Senate that would let teachers present arguments critical of evolution.

    Early this month, they set up a screening of a new documentary by conservative social critic Ben Stein, called “EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed.” The film, privately screened for legislators and staff, alleges that educators and researchers are discriminated against if they question evolution.

    Today, Florida Family Action issued an alert to rally phone calls, faxes and e-mails in support of the bill, SB 2692, coming up in the Senate Pre-K-12 Committee on Wednesday. The message emphasizes that the bill does not authorize teaching of religion in public schools or allow teaching of “creationism or intelligent design,” but gives teachers legal protection against firing or other punishment for challenging evolution.

    “The bill will help to defuse the public controversy caused by the one-sided, pro-Darwinian views that are inherent in the new science standards,” said the alert.

    Florida Family Action is a separate “cultural action organization” spun off of the conservative Florida Family Policy Council. Its message included a sample letter to senators on the Pre-K-12 committee, arguing for the “academic freedom” bill.

    “This bill gives the right and protection for teachers to present relevant and objective scientific information that is critical of the theory of evolution,” says the letter. It says the bill would strengthen the science curriculum by allowing “more information about evolution to take place.”

    “This legislation addresses the fear among teachers about whether they can address this topic without being harassed, intimidated or fired,” said the sample letter.

    http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080325/NEWS0120/80325016/1006/NEWS0104

    Whether this, or the similar House bill, has any real chances or not, I don’t know. Previously, many thought not, but anyway the fight is still not over.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  36. wnelson says

    ennui: “wnelson: Sure, no one can ever know a ding an sich, and I understood your point that everything reduces to faith because of first assumptions. I do not agree.
    While we may not be able to ‘look behind the veil’ to see whether our sensory perceptions correspond to Realityâ„¢, it is an inductive process that guides us, not one of pure faith.”

    You can’t get away from pure faith though — it’s not possible to separate ourselves from something like assuming that the universe is composed of brute facts, and that our intellects can string them together — that is a powerful, powerful ethos.

    About all that a theist is saying is that God dictated — named — the facts, where a positivist will say that naming ultimately begins/ends with the namer. (I-it/I-thou)

    I’m getting the sinking feeling that this is all about who gets the credit, not about who can develop the cure for cancer.

  37. Aquaria says

    Wow. #38 is perhaps the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Individuate facts. Incredible.

  38. says

    nelson said:
    “ID is religious.”
    Myers, you really, really need walk yourself across campus and spend some time in the philosophy department. (Unless you are deliberately playing on your audience’s ignorance of epistemology.)

    Few things are more irritating than an idiot who’s flicked through a couple of philosophy books.

    Your particular logical fallacy is known as equivocation. Yes, it could be argued that confidence in science is a form of faith. (Not that all philosophers would agree. You see, copying something out the Reader’s Digest Guide to Philosophy doesn’t turn it into an unimpeachable truth.) However, confusing such a faith with religious faith is absurd. It’s like eating the dates from a calendar.

    P.Z. wasn’t saying that Intelligent Design was a form of faith per se. Instead, he was saying that it was a manifestation of organised religion.

  39. says

    I’m getting the sinking feeling that this is all about who gets the credit, not about who can develop the cure for cancer.

    Well you’ve nailed the ID side exactly except that they only want the credit and refuse to do any of the work.

  40. wnelson says

    hyperdeath: “However, confusing such a faith with religious faith is absurd. It’s like eating the dates from a calendar.
    P.Z. wasn’t saying that Intelligent Design was a form of faith per se. Instead, he was saying that it was a manifestation of organised religion.”

    No, I think you’re forgetting how easy it is to not comprehend our own presuppositions — the West in particular habitually runs to Rousseau without realizing it. If you contrast the West with Eastern ideas, it becomes easier to see where the assumptions are. Having a God in the equation is an existential threat for positivists — why not just be forthright about it?

    As to “organized religion” I think that rests on assuming your first point. I can assure you that Myers and the gang are not immune from the pitfalls of organizing their beliefs — ensconcing them in a bureaucracy.

  41. says

    You didn’t just link to that piece of drek by Davescot did you Mr. Miller?

    You’d best note the history of the stupidity that man has vomited on the rest of the internet before you start trusting his logic.

  42. ennui says

    wnelson: Being an economist, I love assumptions. And most everyone has asked themselves at some point, ‘What if it is all an illusion.’ But to assume that our senses do, in fact, correspond to the brute facts of reality does not necessarily require pure faith. The argument can take the form of a sort of Scientific Wager©.

    P1: Either my senses perceive reality, or they do not.
    P2: I can either believe the information from my senses, or not.

    Now, if my senses do not perceive reality, I’m screwed no matter what. I have no path to knowledge or action, regardless what I believe. (Zero-sum or negative outcome)

    If my senses do perceive reality, and I believe them to be false, then I have lost a highly useful tool for knowledge and action (Negative outcome)

    The only chance for a positive outcome is to assume that my senses correspond, to some non-zero degree, to reality. Now I have, in theory, a powerful tool for knowledge and action. It’s not so much faith as a cost-benefit analysis for assumptions.

    C1: I will assume that my senses can perceive reality.

  43. raven says

    Kevin Miller:

    I think all of your posse that has spent so much time calling me a liar and a hypocrite may have to turn their guns on you for a while for making them look bad:

    Hey Kevin: Some questions for you.

    1. What is the name of your sect or denomination?

    2. How many Xians are Real Xians and how many are Fake Xians? Fundies frequently assert that they are the only Real Xians and Catholics etc. are not.

    3. Do you think the Rapture is coming soon?

    4. For extra credit, how old is the earth?

    Never have got an answer from the cultists. I’m convinced that at least one of them is a Moonie.

  44. says

    Unfortunately for them, if you read the succession of accounts they give — and do note, none of these people were there — they are mutually contradictory and completely divorced from the facts.

    This reminds me of a famous book….

  45. Cheezits says

    Tell me, PZ, how do you respond to this story over at uncommondescent.com?

    If Myers wasn’t invited, then who was?

  46. Hal says

    wnelson, you can indeed get away from pure faith, in at least two ways. Science entails a collective, democratic, and widespread ‘naming’ that is subject to individual veto if it does not correspond to reality. This is a one-way naming and a one-way veto (in the opposite direction). No faith or other system of knowledge has that. The other disproof is darwinian. If our perceptions of the world do not correspond to reality in crucial respects, we die. Reality is a limiting case, as some Darwin Award winners attest posthumously. Faith in the possibility of conceiving alternative realities does not imply that all realities are alternative realities.

  47. says

    Kevin Miller, et al.

    Besides being a piss-poor writer (by all accounts so far), you sure have a hard time keeping your arguments straight.

    Premise 1: Evil, world-devouring evolutionist atheists are controlling the universities and the media with absolute power (evolutionists control the media, huh? What happened to the Jews?)

    Premise 2: The average, right-thinking individual will be enraged by this travesty if only they could be made aware of it.

    Conclusion: Preview the movie only to those who are already aware and enraged by the conspiracy. Nothing like preaching to the choir to fuel one’s sense of righteous indignation without having to confront anything resembling reality. Maybe your next film could show how the Masons were responsible for 9/11? Here’s an audience of truth seekers all ready made for you. (And between you and me, judging by the standards of the stuff they write, they won’t be nearly as critical about your lousy writing as those tricksy, nassty atheists like Dawkins.)

  48. oriole says

    Hey, dsm v wld (comment #14), why don’t you write a supportive comment for that dishonest attack on Dawkins at the Discovery Institute page you link to, where you found it? Oh right, I forgot, the gutless liars don’t allow comments at their site.

    Anyway, congratulations on finding out that Dawkins vigorously opposes legislating Darwinism as a code for human behaviour, he just wants it recognized as a scientific fact of nature. Those of us who actually read Dawkins instead of creationist lies about his work knew that quite a long time ago.

  49. says

    Anyway, congratulations on finding out that Dawkins vigorously opposes legislating Darwinism as a code for human behaviour, he just wants it recognized as a scientific fact of nature. Those of us who actually read Dawkins instead of creationist lies about his work knew that quite a long time ago.

    That strange screeching sound you just heard is the sound of that sailing high over dsmvwld’s head.

  50. tbell says

    I know you’re not worried about burning in hell, but to counteract your hate mail a bit, I just want to let you know that I think you’re doing a fantastic job. Love the site, and I have tremendous respect for your honesty and integrity.

  51. says

    BS from Premise, which contradicts some of their previous BS:

    EXPELLED Controversy Top Issue in Blogosphere
    SANTA FE, N.M.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Something amazing happened yesterday. The controversy around Premise Media’s upcoming movie Ben Stein’s EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed became the hottest topic in the blogosphere. According to BlogPulse, a service of Nielsen Buzzmetrics, the issue held the number one slot throughout the day on Monday, March 24th (http://www.blogpulse.com). There were also over 800 results on Technorati (www.technorati.com).

    “It is amazing to see the reaction of PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins and their cohorts when one of them is simply expelled from a movie. Yet these men applaud when professors throughout the nation are fired from their jobs and permanently excluded from their profession for mentioning Intelligent Design,” said producer Mark Mathis. Mathis was at the event that has raised this controversy.

    Mathis continued, “I hope PZ’s experience has helped him see the light. He is distraught because he could not see a movie. What if he wasn’t allowed to teach on a college campus or was denied tenure? Maybe he will think twice before he starts demanding more professors be blacklisted and expelled simply because they question the adequacy of Darwin’s theory.”

    EXPELLED was screened for a select Minneapolis grass roots audience on Thursday night. Dr. Myers and noted atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins were not sent invitations to the screening from the producers. Nevertheless, they acquired access to a proprietary online RSVP site, along with a group of other atheists. The producers were notified that Myers and others who were not invited had signed up for the screening. They were also aware that Dawkins, who oddly used his formal surname “Clinton” instead of Richard to sign up, was in attendance.

    Recognizing the opportunity to make a point of the inconvenience and pain that they, and others like them, have caused to numerous scientists and educators, the decision was made beforehand to deny Myers access to the film if he actually showed up. PZ is one of the foremost proponents of expelling those who hold to any form of Intelligent Design: “The only appropriate responses [to proponents of Intelligent Design] should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing and humiliation of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians.” (http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/001143.html#comments Comment #35130 Posted by PZ Myers, 6/14/05, 07:50)

    Executive Producer Logan Craft noted: “EXPELLED makes it clear that academic freedom is at stake. Yet Dawkins and his friends continue to misrepresent the film and slander the producers. It is obvious that they do not want to debate the real issues raised in the movie. Their only interest is to control the damage their interviews have done to their cause. We are happy to let the public decide where the truth rests on this controversial issue when the movie opens nationwide on April 18th.”

    Myers has apparently been asking supporters to sneak into the different private screenings for many weeks. After being denied his chance to see the movie, Myers blogged about his experience and expressed his outrage.

    Executive Producer Walt Ruloff responded, “This is the typical reaction of Darwinists and atheists who are so blinded by their own self importance that they fail to understand what is really going on. They yell and scream when one of their friends isn’t allowed to see a movie weeks before it goes public. All this outrage while these same people organize witch hunts to expel those who disagree with them.”

    Premise Media’s new film, Ben Stein’s EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed, opens nationwide on April 18th. You can learn more at http://www.expelledthemovie.com

    [This article found at: http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080325006175&newsLang=en%5D

    Sure, PZ’s distraught. More like thrilled.

    And the site was not proprietary, or at least not secret. I found it via Google here:

    onegreatcityblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/private-screening.html

    And I put the link here at Talkorigins, on AtBC, Talkorigins, PT, and Atheistnetwork, a week before the showing (actually, a bit later at Atheistnetwork).

    Furthermore, they can’t keep their story straight. Mathis told Denyse O’Leary that he just wanted to make PZ wait and pay for his ticket. Not that I find any of his stories believable (maybe the rationale is as stated above–who can say, when one can’t trust these bozos?), it’s just that this conflicts with the other spins bandied about the blogosphere.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  52. says

    BS from Premise, which contradicts some of their previous BS:

    EXPELLED Controversy Top Issue in Blogosphere
    SANTA FE, N.M.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Something amazing happened yesterday. The controversy around Premise Media’s upcoming movie Ben Stein’s EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed became the hottest topic in the blogosphere. According to BlogPulse, a service of Nielsen Buzzmetrics, the issue held the number one slot throughout the day on Monday, March 24th (www.blogpulse.com). There were also over 800 results on Technorati (www.technorati.com).

    “It is amazing to see the reaction of PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins and their cohorts when one of them is simply expelled from a movie. Yet these men applaud when professors throughout the nation are fired from their jobs and permanently excluded from their profession for mentioning Intelligent Design,” said producer Mark Mathis. Mathis was at the event that has raised this controversy.

    Mathis continued, “I hope PZ’s experience has helped him see the light. He is distraught because he could not see a movie. What if he wasn’t allowed to teach on a college campus or was denied tenure? Maybe he will think twice before he starts demanding more professors be blacklisted and expelled simply because they question the adequacy of Darwin’s theory.”

    EXPELLED was screened for a select Minneapolis grass roots audience on Thursday night. Dr. Myers and noted atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins were not sent invitations to the screening from the producers. Nevertheless, they acquired access to a proprietary online RSVP site, along with a group of other atheists. The producers were notified that Myers and others who were not invited had signed up for the screening. They were also aware that Dawkins, who oddly used his formal surname “Clinton” instead of Richard to sign up, was in attendance.

    Recognizing the opportunity to make a point of the inconvenience and pain that they, and others like them, have caused to numerous scientists and educators, the decision was made beforehand to deny Myers access to the film if he actually showed up. PZ is one of the foremost proponents of expelling those who hold to any form of Intelligent Design: “The only appropriate responses [to proponents of Intelligent Design] should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing and humiliation of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians.” (www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/001143.html#comments Comment #35130 Posted by PZ Myers, 6/14/05, 07:50)

    Executive Producer Logan Craft noted: “EXPELLED makes it clear that academic freedom is at stake. Yet Dawkins and his friends continue to misrepresent the film and slander the producers. It is obvious that they do not want to debate the real issues raised in the movie. Their only interest is to control the damage their interviews have done to their cause. We are happy to let the public decide where the truth rests on this controversial issue when the movie opens nationwide on April 18th.”

    Myers has apparently been asking supporters to sneak into the different private screenings for many weeks. After being denied his chance to see the movie, Myers blogged about his experience and expressed his outrage.

    Executive Producer Walt Ruloff responded, “This is the typical reaction of Darwinists and atheists who are so blinded by their own self importance that they fail to understand what is really going on. They yell and scream when one of their friends isn’t allowed to see a movie weeks before it goes public. All this outrage while these same people organize witch hunts to expel those who disagree with them.”

    Premise Media’s new film, Ben Stein’s EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed, opens nationwide on April 18th. You can learn more at http://www.expelledthemovie.com

    [This article found at: http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080325006175&newsLang=en%5D

    Sure, PZ’s distraught. More like thrilled.

    And the site was not proprietary, or at least not secret. I found it via Google here:

    onegreatcityblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/private-screening.html

    And I put the link here at Talkorigins, on AtBC, Talkorigins, PT, and Atheistnetwork, a week before the showing (actually, a bit later at Atheistnetwork).

    Furthermore, they can’t keep their story straight. Mathis told Denyse O’Leary that he just wanted to make PZ wait and pay for his ticket. Not that I find any of his stories believable (maybe the rationale is as stated above–who can say, when one can’t trust these bozos?), it’s just that this conflicts with the other spins bandied about the blogosphere.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  53. Farb says

    It’s no secret that ID’s pseudo-secularity is its greatest weakness. Not only do its advocates’ frequent (and publicized) slips into creationist sentiment destroy any credibility it might have in the courts, their default political position represents, to many conservative Christians, the open denial of their god, similar to Peter’s denial of Jesus in the courtyard.

    To the most conservative of these, the company of outright heathen, even heathen motivated to persecute them, is vastly preferable than association with these political hypocrites, whom they find repulsive, blasphemous, and very likely more fit for the hell they imagine than the most strident atheist would be.

  54. wnelson says

    Hal: “wnelson, you can indeed get away from pure faith, in at least two ways. Science entails a collective, democratic, and widespread ‘naming’ that is subject to individual veto if it does not correspond to reality…”

    Hal, you are not shallow — there no dummies here — but that is a shallow way of looking at the argument.

    The subtext of human individuation of discrete facts can’t be avoided. How you interpret “apparent” design — is the least of your concerns. There is an entire framework of epistemology to answer to. Like Polkinghorne said “Epistemology models ontology.”

  55. Damian says

    Kevin, you are so dishonest it’s untrue.

    This link is to the “private” events and has “special” in the URL:

    http://rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/special/expelle

    The cached version of the RSVP for the Bloomington event has “events” in place of “special”:

    rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/events/rsvp/193

    I have screen shots of the RSVP list and application form on my computer from the main website, inviting anyone to request a place. Surprise, surprise, when I clicked on the RSVP button for a particular showing it took me to exactly the same page and web address that the cached version shows.

    Both the page that showed all of the dates, and the individual page where you signed up had “events” in the URL, not “special”.

    I will host both pages showing this if necessary.

    In any case, Kevin, you are going to have to explain why so many people who went through exactly the same process as PZ, at various locations, were all sent confirmation emails, turned up, and were let in? If it was invitation only, they would have known who they had sent invitations to, wouldn’t they?

    Your dishonesty knows no bounds, it seems. Put down the spade, Kevin, and walk away. It’s deep enough now. Put it down.

  56. says

    You didn’t just link to that piece of drek by Davescot did you Mr. Miller?
    You’d best note the history of the stupidity that man…

    Oh yea, just wait and see the history Mr. Miller will create. Davescot will look like a genius in comparison to Kevin.

    There’s a good reason Davescot’s history hasn’t meant anything to him.

  57. says

    Mathis continued, “I hope PZ’s experience has helped him see the light. He is distraught because he could not see a movie. What if he wasn’t allowed to teach on a college campus or was denied tenure? Maybe he will think twice before he starts demanding more professors be blacklisted and expelled simply because they question the adequacy of Darwin’s theory.”

    PZ laughing his ass off while held shoulder high by teh interwebs to much acclaim and jubilation while the NY Times mocks his opponents on his behalf, is a definition of “distraught” with which I was previously unfamiliar.

    *Creationist tags for commenters, please? Mathis requires comic sans and a gumby, dammit!

  58. says

    I have screen shots of the RSVP list and the form on my computer that I was able to find through the main website, inviting anyone to request a place, from the night that this happened. Surprise, surprise, when I clicked on the RSVP button for a particular showing it took me to exactly the same page and address that the cached version shows.

    The question is whether the Bloomington screening was ever on the main site, however. The fact that the Bloomington screening is on a page which has “events” in its file name rather than “special” isn’t really important, because it would not be unreasonable for all of the screenings to have essentially the same file name. The question is whether or not the the event was listed on the main site, or only on the “private screenings” site.

    Premise claims that the “private screenings” site was “proprietary,” although that makes no sense as stated because it was on the web and the search engines. So they really don’t have any complaint to make, however it remains to be demonstrated that one could get to the Bloomington screening via the main site of Getexpelled.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  59. Lee says

    Kevin Miller,

    Oh, get real.

    Invitations can be of two kinds –
    those issued specifically: a targeted letter or email saying ‘you and your wife are invited to…”
    Those issued generally: a flier on a lamp post or an open web page (gee…) saying ‘come to our event…

    EITHER kind of invitation can ask for an RSVP. PZ Myers responded to the second kind of invitation, issued via an open web page. He did everything asked of him in that open invitation, including RSVPing to the open invitation. So did Dawkins and everyone else in his group.

    The ‘gatecrasher – they weren’t invited’ dreck being pushed by DaveScot and others over at the disco is simply intentional falsehood designed to discredit. IOW, they are lying out their asses.

    Thank you, though, Kevin, for making it so clear that this IS about religion, and that ID ***IS*** a religious construct.

  60. Kevin Miller says

    I said, “I’m on the verge of issuing a retraction of my apology unless you can prove it’s not true.” I’ve done a bit of research (and read some of your comments) and determined that PZ could have gotten to the page through legitimate channels. So I won’t be retracting my apology.

  61. says

    Alonzo Fyfe wrote:

    the backers of the movie ‘Expelled’ making sure that it is their version of the story that is known to the public (outside of the atheist blogs).

    Now that’s framing!

    Look at this spin:

    Recognizing the opportunity to make a point of the inconvenience and pain that they, and others like them, have caused to numerous scientists and educators, the decision was made beforehand to deny Myers access to the film if he actually showed up. PZ is one of the foremost proponents of expelling those who hold to any form of Intelligent Design: “The only appropriate responses [to proponents of Intelligent Design] should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing and humiliation of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians.”

  62. wnelson says

    Guys, instead of arguing about this — why can’t Myers simply outline the steps he took to get access?

    This isn’t complicated.

  63. says

    Thank you, though, Kevin, for making it so clear that this IS about religion, and that ID ***IS*** a religious construct.

    And thanks again Kevin, and the rest of the Expelled team, for showing us exactly what morals and ethics the religion behind ID will have us adopt upon pain of law.

    I’ll start practicing: 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. 2+2=5….

  64. MikeM says

    I haven’t read through all the posts, but I’ve now come to a point that may be a complete aside from any of this.

    I think you should ban ID supporters UNTIL they produce a useful, peer-reviewed result based on their scientific theory.

    First, they have to have a scientific theory. They don’t have one of those.

    Until that point, essentially everything they say is bullshit, and cannot be defended. This is a science blog, not a bullshit blog (well, that’s not 100% true, but you get my point. As my point pertains to science, I think that’s an accurate assessment).

    Sadly, I think Expelled will make money. This will be a stupid little movie, and ID supporters will be able to buy it and Silent Scream in a blister pack, available at special prices in Bible stores. Which is fine, because I never go to Bible stores.

    Yeah, it’s fun for us to have to chase people off once in a while (although I rarely participate, I do follow it), but when we’re chasing and they persist, just block ’em.

  65. says

    Guys, instead of arguing about this — why can’t Myers simply outline the steps he took to get access?

    He did, you gasbag. Do try to keep up. PZ’s story hasn’t changed, unlike those of the amateur night loons who appear to have your sympathies.

  66. minimalist says

    azkyroth (#78):

    He did, you boring imbecile.

    (I assume this is in response to #75)

    Yeah, but what about the gaps between those steps? Until those “missing links” are found, that’s how they’ll remain: MISSING!

    I will not believe it went down as PZ says it did unless he can document every footstep, keystroke and uttered word between each of those steps!

  67. Don says

    wnelson,

    In which language would you like it outlined? Because the English language version has been presented repeatedly, both in text and video.

    And, no. It wasn’t complicated.

  68. says

    Here’s the question, Kevin: Why do you accuse without knowing the situation first?

    This would be the question regarding your movie (you clearly are not up on science), your first accusations, and then your bluster as you come in here.

    Accuse first, then sometimes apologize (the big apology, for your wretched movie, hasn’t happened), while never really getting anything right.

    It’s pathetic.

    @Damian, just one more explanation of my above points, which is that the file paths for the links on a page need have nothing to do with the file path of the page the links are on. Just like it is here, where links do not relate to the file paths on Pharyngula.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  69. Azkyroth says

    You know, I really wish the religious would stop using the same term (“faith”) to describe our processes of pattern recognition that suggest basic principles on which to build a worldview, as the one that they use for a psychological state that is equivalent to WISHFUL THINKING in most of them (and paranoid psychosis in the remainder).

  70. David says

    I’m sorry a supposed christian would ‘hope you burn in hell’. That is certainly not Christ-like & I know that a true christian would not make a such a statement.

    I could not change your beliefs, only God could do that. I just hope & pray that someday when you need something above what your world can offer, you will reach out to Him & find the peace & joy & contented fulfillment that only a life in Christ can attain.

  71. Damian says

    The question is whether the Bloomington screening was ever on the main site, however. The fact that the Bloomington screening is on a page which has “events” in its file name rather than “special” isn’t really important, because it would not be unreasonable for all of the screenings to have essentially the same file name. The question is whether or not the the event was listed on the main site, or only on the “private screenings” site.

    Glenn, I could be wrong, of course, but that is exactly what I am saying. I took the screen shots from the main Expelled site (the one that we have all used to comment on the blog, etc) on the night that it all happened, and before it was taken down. That is how I found it. The URL specifically says “events”, and it is exactly the same page that is now recorded in the Google cache.

    If it is exactly the same URL, how can it be from a different site?

  72. wnelson says

    Guys, the cached links I’m seeing all say “Private” — and there is the matter of RSVPing, as in “responding” to an invite.

    Links, please — Like Miller said, I’m reserving judgement, but I’m getting mixed signals.

  73. says

    Glen asked:

    Here’s the question, Kevin: Why do you accuse without knowing the situation first?

    I know. It’s because he trusts. He trusted the producers, he trusts Davescott, he trusts Behe and Dembski.

    I trust too. I trust Dawkins’ review of the film and PZ’s account of the events.

    Kevin hasn’t yet realized that faith and trust must be earned.

  74. says

    Links, please — Like Miller said, I’m reserving judgement, but I’m getting mixed signals.

    Let us know how philosophy helps you out of your ontological muddle. Have fun teaching the controversy.

  75. Azkyroth says

    C1: I will assume that my senses can perceive reality.

    And if you were wrong, how would you know?

    One fairly obvious sign would be when two different senses were telling you radically different things (for instance, seeing a wall directly front of you that your hand can go right through). Another would be if the information your senses gave you in a certain setting was radically inconsistent at different times, when the setting had not changed. Another would be if the results predicted based on our senses and the patterns don’t actually result from our actions (picking up a ball that feels like it weighs about a pound and throwing it as hard as you can, only to find it simply floats to earth an inch from your feet, perhaps).

    What are some equivalent tests for religious faith?

    *crickets*

  76. Will E. says

    I just hope & pray that someday when you need something above what your world can offer, you will reach out to Him & find the peace & joy & contented fulfillment that only a life in Christ can attain.

    Sounds like a lobotomy.

  77. Rey Fox says

    “I just hope & pray that someday when you need something above what your world can offer”

    …you’ll adjust your needs accordingly. (What do you mean by “your world”, exactly?)

  78. wnelson says

    Ken Cope: “Let us know how philosophy helps you out of your ontological muddle. Have fun teaching the controversy.”

    Yes, I got in your head — now the least you could do in return is get me the link! ;-)

  79. Damian says

    I am no expert on teh internets (clearly), but if both URL’s say:

    rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/events/rsvp/193

    can that really go to a different places depending on which site you are on?

    I thought that each individual page had a unique URL.

    As far as I am aware, all private screenings do say “special”, as well.

    I give up.

  80. says

    Azkyroth wrote:

    What are some equivalent tests for religious faith?
    *crickets*

    No, not *crickets* — here’s your answer:

    The Bible actually gives us such tests, for example, can you move mountains with your faith? Can you handle snakes and drink poison? Can you heal the sick or cast out demons?

    Mark 16:18 says:
    “They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (NIV)

    “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (KJV)

    According to the New Testament believers in Jesus can handle snakes, presumably poisonous ones, without harm and drink ANY deadly thing. That makes Christianity testable.

    I bet Kevin can drink a bottle of hydrochloric acid. Right Kev?

  81. says

    Glenn, I could be wrong, of course, but that is exactly what I am saying. I took the screen shots from the main Expelled site (the one that we have all used to comment on the blog, etc) on the night that it all happened, and before it was taken down. That is how I found it. The URL specifically says “events”, and it is exactly the same page that is now recorded in the Google cache.

    If it is exactly the same URL, how can it be from a different site?

    I think you’re saying that the Bloomington screening was on the main screen which had “events” in the file path. If so, that would be one way to access the Bloomington screening. I haven’t been clear on just what you were saying about the screen shot of the “events” site.

    What I was saying previously is that the mere fact that the Bloomington screening is listed separately in the “events” file does not indicate that the Bloomington screening was on the site accessible from Getexpelled or Expelled. That is, it could be in the “events” file without having to be accessible from the “events” listing–it might be linked only from the “private screenings” page, regardless of different file paths for each.

    However, it seems that you are saying that you found the Bloomington screening itself by going through the Expelled or Getexpelled site, and if so, the above point would be moot.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  82. says

    Yes, I got in your head — now the least you could do in return is get me the link! ;-)

    No, you got up my nose. Your odor precedes you. You’ve been passing wind on these threads long enough to do your own research into events–everything happened last Friday so you don’t even have to worry about Last Thursdayism. What you are doing is accusing PZ of lying, and you lack the credibility to do that and be taken seriously.

    There’s nothing wrong with philosophy that can’t be fixed with a baseball bat, which can be most efficacious.

  83. says

    PZ,

    You and Dawkins were challenged to a debate here:
    http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080325006175&newsLang=en

    Executive Producer Logan Craft noted: “EXPELLED makes it clear that academic freedom is at stake. Yet Dawkins and his friends continue to misrepresent the film and slander the producers. It is obvious that they do not want to debate the real issues raised in the movie. Their only interest is to control the damage their interviews have done to their cause. We are happy to let the public decide where the truth rests on this controversial issue when the movie opens nationwide on April 18th.”

    Maybe you ought to post a challenge. Ask them to your school for a debate.

  84. says

    I am no expert on teh internets (clearly), but if both URL’s say:

    rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/events/rsvp/193

    can that really go to a different places depending on which site you are on?

    I thought that each individual page had a unique URL.

    As far as I am aware, all private screenings do say “special”, as well.

    I give up.

    No, they’ll go to the same sites, certainly. My only issue was that any page can have a link to any other page, without having to share filepaths.

    So the particular filepath of the single listing of the Bloomington screening tells us nothing about the page that linked to it.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  85. says

    The Bible actually gives us such tests, for example, can you move mountains with your faith? Can you handle snakes and drink poison? Can you heal the sick or cast out demons?

    Mark 16:18 says:
    “They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (NIV)

    “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (KJV)

    You fool! Merely mentioning Em-A-Ar-Kay 16:18 is enough to summon forth the Dread Beast Twaddle, who will bore us all to death with his Calvinist Biblical Authority.

    Laugh ye may, but I have seen the Beast with mine own eyes and heard his fatiguing jabber, and I tell you it is a fate worse than Death!

  86. Lowell says

    If I’m not mistaken, the quote below is exactly the angle Sastra predicted they were aiming for yesterday, the “now you know how it feels” crap:

    Mathis continued, “I hope PZ’s experience has helped him see the light. He is distraught because he could not see a movie. What if he wasn’t allowed to teach on a college campus or was denied tenure? Maybe he will think twice before he starts demanding more professors be blacklisted and expelled simply because they question the adequacy of Darwin’s theory.”

  87. says

    The “special” cached “private screenings” site takes you to the Bloomington site, “rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/events/rsvp/193”.

    I have to wonder if you weren’t at the “private screenings” site when you got to the Bloomington event, Damian. After all, it was on the web, once you knew what to look for. But perhaps not, it’s just that I have never found the Bloomington event on anything but the “private screenings” site with “special in the filepath, cached or otherwise. Maybe it was on another of their pages, though.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  88. phantomreader42 says

    Kevin Miller, desperately grasping at straws:

    Tell me, PZ, how do you respond to this story over at uncommondescent.com? I’m on the verge of issuing a retraction of my apology unless you can prove it’s not true. I think all of your posse that has spent so much time calling me a liar and a hypocrite may have to turn their guns on you for a while for making them look bad:

    The people running UD are all stupid or liars. And I use the inclusive form of “OR” there, as many fall into both groups.

    I know you’re desperate for a rationale for all this that doesn’t make you and your fellow creationists look bad, but they’ve gone through so many that if you have a single functioning brain cell you have to realize that they’re lying about this. The Dishonesty Institute has been frantically spinning for days.

    Here is the third comment on the IDiocy you linked to, from one Todd Berkebile (given UD’s usual response to dissent, it may not be there long):

    The front page of the public website http://getexpelled.com/ has a link called “Events & Tours”. Following that link leads to a page with the following text:

    Motive Entertainment is proud to present THE EXPELLED TOUR which launches on November 26th to promote the upcoming release of EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed. Tour locations are being added every day! You and your community are invited to attend FREE of charge! CLICK HERE to RSVP now at a location near you!

    That certainly seems like a general invitation to the entire community to me. It seems like everyone has been invited. Was the getexpelled.com website supposed to be secret? It certainly doesn’t say “Please only use this website if you have been personally invited” anywhere that I can see.

    Kevin, are you really so stupid, or so credulous, or so desperate, as to believe that a website accessible by every computer on the planet is some sort of top-secret private club?

    Face the facts. Your side lost. PZ followed the rules, and your IDiot Mathis threw him out anyway. Not for being disruptive, not for being a gatecrasher, but just because Ass. Prod. Mathis is a petulant child.

    Kevin, why do you associate with these people? They’re dishonest, incompetent, a disgrace to everything they touch. Their science is nonexistent, their faith weak, their propaganda vile. What possible reason could you have to dirty yourself by working with such filth?

  89. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood says

    I’m sorry a supposed christian would ‘hope you burn in hell’. That is certainly not Christ-like & I know that a true christian would not make a such a statement.

    Except that self-identified ‘true Christians’ do make such statements. And I have noticed they are not isolated occurrences. Soft-spoken men such as yourself are a rarity here. David, how can we tell that you are a true Christian and they are not?

    I could not change your beliefs, only God could do that. I just hope & pray that someday when you need something above what your world can offer, you will reach out to Him & find the peace & joy & contented fulfillment that only a life in Christ can attain.

    Having experienced a life in Christ, I recall it made me guilt-ridden and miserable. True peace was attained upon leaving the church and embracing a world from which the supernatural was banished. A great weight was lifted from me. And I found myself charged with great responsibility, because I no longer could pray away the consequences of ill deeds but was forced to face them manfully and fix them.

    I hope one day that you achieve the contentment that only a world without dogma and the manipulations of priests can offer. I hope that you can experience the fulfillment and joy of a world of natural wonders. A world in which one treats others with dignity not because one is commanded to or threatened with Perdition and flames, but because it is the just and human thing to do.

  90. wnelson says

    phantomreader42: Apparently there is more to the tour than the movies — something about a media bus — or something.

    Again, why can’t Myers just admit whether Promise media invited him, or not? How do you “RSVP” without an invitation?

  91. wnelson says

    The Bible actually gives us such tests, for example, can you move mountains with your faith? Can you handle snakes and drink poison? Can you heal the sick or cast out demons?

    Mark 16:18 says:
    “They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (NIV)
    “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (KJV)

    I bet Kevin can drink a bottle of hydrochloric acid. Right Kev?

    I had no idea Kevin Miller had experience living in the Apostolic age — the guy gets around!

  92. Lurky says

    #84

    I just hope & pray that someday when you need something above what your world can offer, you will reach out to Him & find the peace & joy & contented fulfillment that only a life in Christ can attain.

    Oh, come on! So basically one who doesn’t believe in Christ can’t lead a joyful and fulfilling life, is that what you’re trying to say? Okay, you have every right to say that, but then I have every right to reply: Fuck you!

  93. phantomreader42 says

    Thank you, wnelson, for showing that you are so stupid, credulous, and desperate as to believe that a website accessible by every computer on the planet is some sort of top-secret private club.

    Thank you also for demonstrating that you see no moral problem whatsoever with lying, as long as it benefits your side.

  94. wnelson says

    phantomreader42: The caches I’m seeing are for private screenings with “RSVP” buttons next to them.

    Was Myers invited? Yes? No?

  95. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood says

    Oh, come on! So basically one who doesn’t believe in Christ can’t lead a joyful and fulfilling life, is that what you’re trying to say?

    Now now, Lurky. Be gentle with the poor fellah. After all, he lives in fear of priests. He exists in a world of guilt, populated by weeping effigies, symbols of death and phantoms of fiery torment.

    He is led by a book full of hatred, that has inspired men to put their brethren to the sword for no other reason than a belief in icons or altar rails or predestination. They called themselves men of true faith too. They identified themselves as the Godly.

    We get to dance in a much happier place, free of superstition and the terrors of hellfire. We must lead David gently there for he is as yet too blind to see.

  96. says

    re #63:

    They were also aware that Dawkins, who oddly used his formal surname “Clinton” instead of Richard to sign up, was in attendance.

    The pedantic genealogist notes that “surname” means the family name, and it seems Prof. Dawkins’ full legal name is “Clinton Richard Dawkins,” so the IDiots are lying again about his admission to the movie. Except that, even then, as I understand, guests’ name were not requested during registration (“RSVP”), and Skatje noted that identification documents were not examined at admission.

  97. Kseniya says

    the peace & joy & contented fulfillment that only a life in Christ can attain.

    Why am I thinking “botfly”?

  98. says

    wnelson: Were you invited to comment here? Yes? No?

    Can I just kick you out because I’d never sent you a personal invitation to Pharyngula? Or do you think that because the site is on the web, open to access, with a simple text box and a post button, and no prohibitions against creationist nitwits, that perhaps I intend liberal access to the site?

    If you seriously believe I had cause to think I could not see that movie, then you should immediately remove yourself from here, because no, you were not invited. Ever.

  99. Kseniya says

    They were also aware that Dawkins, who oddly used his formal surname “Clinton” instead of Richard to sign up, was in attendance.

    Wow. The lies and distortions spread like wildfire, don’t they?

  100. Cheezits says

    Again, why can’t Myers just admit whether Promise media invited him, or not? How do you “RSVP” without an invitation?

    So, out of all the people who attended the screening, who WAS invited? What did they do different from PZ?

  101. Janine, ID says

    Yes, Kseniya, they sure do.

    This dropping from Cloudcuckooland was deposited today at Amused Muse.

    Anonymous said…

    pThe word is that this was a set up.

    PZ had a family member call management and say he was going to yell and shout during the showing, which he claimed earlier on his blog.

    I thought this seemed a little too convenient.

    Being a fundamentalist means never having to see the facts.

  102. Mark B says

    Private screening? And they posted the invitation on a public web page? Seems implausible to me.

    I really didn’t see any text or disclaimers anywhere on the page admonishing that it was for invited guests only, despite the rather scary threats of legal action against anyone who even took any recording device into the movie.

    The obvious inference was that the web page was a marketing tool, to get a sympathetic audience to view the movie and generate some buzz. I seriously doubt that the filmmakers wanted to limit the audience to only those recieved an engraved invition. If that were the case, they would have either somehow secured the web page (https or password protection) or at least checked the people who signed up against the invitations.

    Even supposing the only someone could have gotten the URL was through email, that doesn’t mean much. Emails can be forwarded, and I’m rather sure they intended this to happen. It had to be part of their marketing strategy, as friends invite friends and they can grow their word of mouth positive buzz. Of course, if it’s a crappy movie, it doesn’t work as well, but your audience has self-selected to see the movie and they’re getting something for free, so you hope they are predisposed to view it faborably. That appears to be the case for most of the audience that showed for this showing, from all the accounts I’ve read.

    Now, I’m not really buying that this URL was only available to recipients of emails. Honestly, it could have been linked from anywhere. I’m still not convinced it wasn’t linked internally from elsewhere on the Expelled website.

  103. wnelson says

    wnelson: Were you invited to comment here? Yes? No?
    Can I just kick you out because I’d never sent you a personal invitation to Pharyngula? Or do you think that because the site is on the web, open to access, with a simple text box and a post button, and no prohibitions against creationist nitwits, that perhaps I intend liberal access to the site?
    If you seriously believe I had cause to think I could not see that movie, then you should immediately remove yourself from here, because no, you were not invited. Ever.

    Alright, fair enough — chalk it up to a bit of overzealousness to see the film. (With a bit of sandbagging by Promise thrown in just make it “sporting.”) You have to admit, there’s more than enough irony to go around. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen if ID catches on?

    Oh noes! Teh American Talibanz® iz comingz an makes me prayz teh rotisserie!!

    Now get thee to the philosophy department — maybe they can help you bar the door. ;-)

  104. RamblinDude says

    Besides, what’s the worst that could happen if ID catches on?

    You mean besides the crushing dumbing down of America that is already taking place, right?

  105. negentropyeater says

    Anyway, I don’t even understand this “invitation” story, just as a matter of courtesy and mere politeness, PZ should have been invited. That he showed up for the screening is proof that there is a clear difference between him, and the “Atheist fundamentalist” that he is often accused of. Because a religious fundamentalist would simply refuse to hear the contrary opinion (or try to burn it in some cases…)
    Even for a Public Relations purpose, it would have been clearly more “intelligent” for Premise Media do let him in …

  106. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood says

    Besides, what’s the worst that could happen if ID catches on?

    Hmmm… the collapse of the biological sciences in the United States. A brain drain to Europe and other enlightened continents. The loss of any strategic lead in biotechnology as other nations leap ahead in knowledge and expertise. The relegation of the US to the status of boondocks in certain science fields. The impoverishment of the country’s scientific and intellectual credibility.

  107. wnelson says

    You mean besides the crushing dumbing down of America that is already taking place, right?

    Umpteenth place in Science education is something to brag about? That’s education _not_ in the hands of teh fundies — how do they figure in to this?

  108. Cheezits says

    Anyway, I don’t even understand this “invitation” story, just as a matter of courtesy and mere politeness, PZ should have been invited.

    Or at the very least, should not have been threatened with *arrest* if he didn’t leave the premises. Sheesh!

  109. negentropyeater says

    “Besides, what’s the worst that could happen if ID catches on?”

    To add to what Lee mentionned, never wondered what happened to the islamic cultures when they abruptly stopped their early enlightenment ?

  110. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood says

    That’s education _not_ in the hands of teh fundies

    …but somewhat influenced by them. Though yes, an overall underinvestment in public schooling does tend to put the mockers on science education.

  111. says

    wnelson wrote:

    I had no idea Kevin Miller had experience living in the Apostolic age — the guy gets around!

    I don’t recall that the New Testament mentioned that those abilities were only for one Apostolic age. When did it end and when did they invent that excuse?

    Does this mean that all you’ve got to back up your claims is a book of fables?

  112. wnelson says

    To add to what Lee mentionned, never wondered what happened to the islamic cultures when they abruptly stopped their early enlightenment ?

    Oh, give me break — worst case is that you’ll have a bunch of people hell-bent to reverse engineer the genome, looking for increasing levels of order. The rest will continue to play tricks on the past to buttress their positions — kinda like everyone’s doing right now.

    ewwwww, scaaaaaaaarry.

  113. wnelson says

    I don’t recall that the New Testament mentioned that those abilities were only for one Apostolic age. When did it end and when did they invent that excuse?

    Well, so much for eyewitness testimony.

    Seriously, no one knows. If you poke around in the literature of the church fathers, the age of miracles died out with the Apostles.

  114. Janine, ID says

    …millions now living will never die…
    Now there is a miracle one can count on.

  115. says

    wnelson

    You really are a myopic sot aren’t you? Dumbing down the science means less good science which can and will mean less medical advances, less environmental advances, less food safety advances, etc.. etc..

    ID offers no need to search further. It’s stifles the need to find out exactly what is causing things to happen, how things work and make predictions from them. It causes poor science and therefor poor results.

    You really aren’t too bright are you?

  116. MTran says

    You can’t get away from pure faith though — it’s not possible to separate ourselves from something like assuming that the universe is composed of brute facts

    Okay, there are a number of errors and ambiguities in this sentence. Suddenly we are seeing a new phrase, “pure faith,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.

    The main problem when using words like “faith” and “belief” is that they are subject to many definitions and understandings. Their meanings are equivocal and for that reason subject to abuse, misuse,and misunderstanding.

    Frequently, fundamentalists and other religionists insist on using their own, theistic, religious, understanding of the words and then apply those very specific usages in their (mis)understanding of science.

    If you cannot comprehend the difference between the nature of faith, as it is understood in the context of religion, and a reasonable reliance on the continuing utility of carefully tested data, carefully gathered measurements, scientific models, and scentific theories, then there is no point in discussing these issues. The reasonable reliance on these matters is always subject to retesting and revision; it is not a matter of “faith” as that term is commonly understood, and it is certainly not a religious faith.

    I would urge those who want to get somewhere with assertions that science is a “faith” based enterprise, to refuse to use the terms that are heavily laden with religious connotations and favored by fundamentalists. There are better, less ambiguous alternatives that can help to clarify the real differences between the scientific and religious mind set.

  117. Janine, ID says

    Chimpy, the idea is to get everybody down to the same level as wnelson and call the results philosophical.

  118. Adrian says

    If you poke around in the literature of the church fathers, the age of miracles died out with the Apostles.

    So, the accepted doctrine is “God just hates us now”?

    I think most rational people are in the “that shit was all just made up” school of thought.

  119. says

    Chimpy, the idea is to get everybody down to the same level as wnelson and call the results philosophical.

    Right. If everyone is ok with mediocre results and “God did it” explanations no one will care that we can no longer battle infections because by that point God’s Will will be the most important thing.

  120. Brachychiton says

    Expelled media release

    They were also aware that Dawkins, who oddly used his formal surname “Clinton” instead of Richard to sign up, was in attendance.

    Surname? What?

    Oddly formal? Yes, perhaps he was named after all those British King Clintons?

    wnelson # 88

    Guys, the cached links I’m seeing all say “Private” — and there is the matter of RSVPing, as in “responding” to an invite.

    That’s because the illiterate bastards don’t know what RSVP actually means.

    Kevin
    Is this the standard of your research? Really? What’s that behind you? Oh, don’t worry, it’s just your career.

  121. wnelson says

    Somebody better tell that to Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff.

    Ha! Every movement has it’s hucksters.

    Back on teh fundies screwing everything up: America has bigger problems — like figuring out the “science” behind mass prescription of antibiotics for the flu, or the hard science of how to vet a mortgage application, or how to raise animals humanely, or maybe how not to consume more than we produce. 25% of teenage girls in the U.S. have an STD — pharmaceuticals are showing up in the water supply — “sadness” is now a disease.

    We are failing to produce a sustainable culture. Now, none of that has much to do with teaching Darwinism, but we sure as hell better figure out a balance between materialism (I mean that in both senses) and madrasas.

    They have rights who dare maintain them; we are traitors to our sires,
    Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom’s new-lit altar-fires;
    Shall we make their creed our jailer? Shall we, in our haste to slay,
    From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral lamps away
    To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of to-day?

    New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth;
    They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth;
    Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must Pilgrims be,
    Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea,
    Nor attempt the Future’s portal with the Past’s blood-rusted key.

  122. says

    Oh, give me break

    I’d rather not. There comes a point in any conversation with a zealot when you realize they are so divorced from rationality, they are such fabulists, that you have to back away and hope that you can reach safety before they do something rash.

    Goodbye!

    {sound of running feet}

  123. raven says

    Besides, what’s the worst that could happen if ID catches on?

    Quite a bit actually. The end of American civilization. The fundies are very good at lying, hating, and killing and nothing else. They can only propagate their medieval ideology by setting up a theocracy and heading on back to the Dark Ages.

    Something like the fall of the Soviet Empire only worse.

    Our enemies and competitors will cheer wildly and proceed to surpass us. The Europeans, the Chinese, the former Soviet Union, and perhaps even those other fundie nuts, the Moslems.

    Internal mob rule will result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands if we are lucky and millions if not. Most likely New England and the West Coast as a matter of self preservation will attempt to secede from Dumbfuckistan, the country formerly known as the USA.

    Hyperbole, not in the least. Huckabee the Dominionist candidate wants to scrap the constitution and use the 10 commandments instead. That will work. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s donkey. WTH, my neighbor doesn’t even have a donkey and most Americans have never even seen a live one up close.

  124. MTran says

    They were also aware that Dawkins, who oddly used his formal surname “Clinton” instead of Richard

    WTF? “Clinton” is not Dawkins’ surname, “Dawkins” is the surname. “Clinton” is his actual given name, nothing formal or odd about it. “Richard” is his middle name, which is the name he seems to use in his professional and daily life. But passports and other government documents generally demand ones full name, as is the case here.

    Plenty of people go by their middle names, although even more people seem to abhor their middle names, which is a different matter altogether ;-)

  125. says

    Brachychiton wrote:

    Is this the standard of your research? Really? What’s that behind you? Oh, don’t worry, it’s just your career.

    Now, now. Plenty of people have successful careers in Hollywood and yet only have pea-sized brains. For example, Ben Stein.

  126. Janine, ID says

    It took a colossal ass like Stein as an enemy to make a self centered dweeb like Ferris Bueller seem even remotely cool.
    (I hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated that movie.)

  127. negentropyeater says

    wnelson,

    what you fail to understand is that the USA, is not alone in the world. So you under-estimate the fundamental consequences of refusing, as a nation, to accept that evolution happened. This will not happen in the other developped nations in the rest of the world, nor in China, or Russia. This means that in what will represent the largest chunk of the economy in the 21st century, those areas derived from the life sciences, in a mulipolar world, the USA will loose competitiveness and within a few decades would become less advanced, socially and technologically than the others. What will that mean in practical terms ? It is impossible to predict what will happen in the 21st century, but a nation which is at “war with science” will surely not be the best adapted to the new environment.

  128. Dave says

    BS from Premise, which contradicts some of their previous BS:
    […]
    The producers were notified that Myers and others who were not invited had signed up for the screening. They were also aware that Dawkins, who oddly used his formal surname “Clinton” instead of Richard to sign up, was in attendance.

    Aside from the contradictions, these guys don’t even know what a surname is? And they find it odd that his full name would be on his passport, which (as has been repeated to death) he used as the identification they demanded everyone provide? Do they know or understand anything?

  129. Hal says

    wnelson, although you personally are not intellectually incompetent, every comment you’ve entered here is intellectually incompetent.

    I’ll take your evasion as conceding the point.

  130. says

    Janine, ID wrote:

    (I hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated, hated that movie.)

    It was okay by me — but it was no “Weird Science.”

    Ferris Bueller was the first time I saw Stein and he was so strange I actually thought he was a good actor who could talk normally if he wanted to. Seeing him later was like learning the actors in “The Hills have Eyes” weren’t wearing make-up.

  131. Rey Fox says

    Poor Dawkins. Now, not only does he have to deal with Atheist Derangement Syndrome in everyone he talks to, but Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

    “My full legal name is Clinton-”

    “DIRTY DOG! DIRTY DOG!”

  132. Damian says

    Glenn said:

    I have to wonder if you weren’t at the “private screenings” site when you got to the Bloomington event, Damian. After all, it was on the web, once you knew what to look for. But perhaps not, it’s just that I have never found the Bloomington event on anything but the “private screenings” site with “special in the filepath, cached or otherwise. Maybe it was on another of their pages, though.

    I honestly didn’t know that there was more than one site, Glenn. I know that I went to the “open access” site, though. Interestingly, the cache for all prior versions of the application page seem to have disappeared – private and not (unless someone can find one).

    That is possible utilizing this method:

    http://labnol.blogspot.com/2005/09/clear-google-web-cache-delete-404.html

    I guess that it doesn’t matter, as the case is more than overwhelming, anyway. I do wonder what it has come to when you have to be trained in espionage to counter the dishonesty of the “persecuted majority”, however.

  133. Kseniya says

    Richard Dawkins renounced Darwinism as a religion

    Oh yeah. That’s exactly what he said. *eyeroll*

    Is this International Creationist Fact-Distortion Week? Why didn’t anybody tell me?

    No no no… don’t tell me:

    Every week is International Creationist Fact-Distortion Week!

  134. Chris Noble says

    So was it clumsy of Dawkins to link Darwinian evolution with fascism, too?

    I think the root of the problem is that because fundamentalist Christians look to the bible for both the explanation of the origin of the species and the source of their morals they assume that evolution must do fulfil the same function.

    A society based upon thermodynamics or quantum mechanics does not make any sense. Neither does a society based upon evolutionary biology. It’s called the Naturalistic Fallacy. Why is this so difficult for some people to understand?

    The more I read the more I am convinced that some people are so deeply insecure in their moral convictions that they are afraid that if they accept the evidence for evolution they will all turn into rapists and murderers.

  135. demallien says

    wnelson,

    you know, we really don’t have faith in science. It’s why we’re always harping on about the predictive power of scientific theories. You see, we don’t have faith, so the only thing that interests us is ‘does theory X allow us to accurately predict what will happen for a given situation?’. For example, Newton’s theory of gravity accurately predicts what will happen to an object that is given a certain impulsion when it is in space near a massive object. Of course, if we do the experiment, and the result doesn’t match the theory, we reject the theory. No faith involved.

    As an aside, how many other pharyngulites see a post with more than one troll in the first 20 comments, and pull up a chair and stick some popcorn in the microwave to enjoy the show?

  136. Kanaio says

    I had not heard of Expelled until finding out about it on Pharyngula. I went to Ben Stein’s website, http://expelledthemovie.com/blog/2007/08/21/bens-blog/ , to see how he describes the documentary’s premise:

    “Under a new anti-religious dogmatism, scientists and educators are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator. Do you realize that some of the leading lights of “anti-intelligent design” would not allow a scientist who merely believed in the possibility of an intelligent designer/creator to work for him… EVEN IF HE NEVER MENTIONED the possibility of intelligent design in the universe? EVEN FOR HIS VERY THOUGHTS… HE WOULD BE BANNED.
    In today’s world, at least in America, an Einstein or a Newton or a Galileo would probably not be allowed to receive grants to study or to publish his research.
    They cannot even mention the possibility that-as Newton or Galileo believed-these laws were created by God or a higher being. They could get fired, lose tenure, have their grants cut off. This can happen. It has happened.”

    Is Stein talking about actual scientists who have been fired for their religious beliefs? This is a serious charge as it is illegal. Who are the “they” Stein is talking about? Does his movie give names of people? If he can’t prove his accusations, this movie appears to be slander and sensationalism.

    A person may believe in a god, and still be a good scientist so long as he or she adheres to scientific methods. I don’t even mind if a scientist is going to try and prove the existence of a spiritual dimension as long as it is done using scientific methods of inquiry and peer review. I can’t actually imagine how these experiments might be conducted, but I think Alan Wallace can.

    On a tangential front I am currently reading Contemplative Science by Alan Wallace. Wallace addresses the standoff between science and religion in a dispassionate way, coming from a primarily Buddhist perspective. He also invisions a new science he calls contemplative science. I am interested if anyone else has read Contemplative Science and what your thoughts are on the book? I think it brings a fresh perspective to many of the ideas expressed on Pharyngula.

    As for Expelled, I intend to see the movie. If Stein is throwing about untrue and trumped up legal charges he should be delt with accordingly. If it were just a show on creationism I would skip it.

  137. Carlie says

    They were also aware that Dawkins, who oddly used his formal surname “Clinton” instead of Richard to sign up, was in attendance.

    Well, I can do them one better. I personally know someone named “Buddy”. It’s what he introduces himself as, it’s what people call him, it’s what we all use for his name. But I found out once when he signed a document that Buddy, in fact, is NOT his name! Further, it is not his first, middle, or last given name! It appears to be entirely made up! That’s not just odd, it’s criminal, is what it is! What’s he trying to hide? This using of other names than what you were formally given has got to stop!
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a “Bill” and a “Tony” who have aroused my suspicions regarding the proper use of names, and I must go investigate. Not so sure about “Chris” and “Zack”, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled…

  138. windy says

    Poor Dawkins. Now, not only does he have to deal with Atheist Derangement Syndrome in everyone he talks to, but Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

    That’s not all! Dawkins was born in the same country as Obama’s dad, and yet he is called Clinton instead of Hussein! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense!