The little book of quote mines

This is curious: apparently, the DVD of Expelled now comes with a little book of quotes which are supposed to support its thesis. Only they don’t. Somebody ought to scan these in so we could all share the hilarity.

Not me, alas. Not only didn’t I get to see the movie, the makers haven’t even had the courtesy to send me a complimentary copy. Maybe they’re anticipating that I’ll be able to get one in my goody bag at the Oscars.


  1. Quiet_Desperation says

    Does anyone know if Expelled was ever submitted for the Documentary category of the Oscars?

  2. says

    Sort of today’s version of Mao’s little red book, it would seem.

    Slogans for the gullible.

    To give them their due, they could hardly have written a book of interwoven evidence for their claims, whether it’s their anti-evolutionism, or their defamation of scientists.

    Glen D

  3. Janine, Queen of Assholes says

    So I am not the only one who immediately thought of Mao’s Little Red Book.

  4. abb3w says

    Heh… from the comments, it seems they didn’t even get the authorial attribution on all the quotes correct.

  5. Bachalon says

    If it was submitted to the Oscars and gone unrecognized, that’s the tiniest modicum of respectable for them restored.

  6. says

    Except the quote about evolution leading to Dahmher eating little babies and then cleasing his palate with Porsche-flavored chewing gum to offset a dyspeptic ulcer. This quote will remain our greatest adversary.

  7. says

    Wait, a different epistemology? Do they really have this kind of epistemology where they pretty much disregard all a posteriori evidence from the world around them? Maybe one could call it a different outlook: these people look inwards to themselves, are too narcissitic to care about the realities of the world around them, and care instead about their own feelings, enough to want to believe that there is an actual personal friend who cares about every single little thought that they have.

  8. ChrisKG says

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned, but Netflix has Expelled and it can be viewed via streaming so you don’t have to rent a copy to see it. Although, I think that if I were to “rent it” I would be sleeping on the couch.

  9. Janine, Queen of Assholes says

    Shanghai_or_Bust, funny how that announcement fails to mention Expelled?

    Ask Stein what does the theory of evolution has to do with the Big Bang?

  10. says

    I found some of the quotes on the web:

    “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    “O Lord, thou givest us everything, at the price of an effort.”
    -Leonardo Da Vinci

    “No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.”
    -Charles P. Steinmetz

    “Curiosity is the thirst of the soul.”
    -Samuel Johnson

    “Science brings men nearer to God.”
    -Louis Pasteur

    “Truth between candid minds can never do harm.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “The visible marks of extraordinary wisdom and power appear so plainly in all the works of the creation that a rational creature, who will but seriously reflect on them, cannot miss the discovery of a Deity.”
    -John Locke

    “As a house implies a builder, and a garment a weaver, and a door a carpenter, so does the existence of the Universe imply a Creator.”
    -Marquis de Vauvenargues

    “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”
    -Galileo Galilei

    “Nature is the art of God.”
    -Dante Alghieri

    “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.”
    -Louis Pasteur

    In truth, Joshua may have made more of the “out of context” issue than it really calls for, since most of these quotes probably wouldn’t be much changed by context. He’s more to the point regarding use of authorities (contrary to the Galileo quote), and the lack of meaningful (scientific) authority behind most of these.

    Mostly, they’re just useless pieties scattered to the wind. Sermon stuffing, “information” for home-schoolers, and the like. Pasteur’s comments aren’t exactly meaningless (life is amazing–which does not logically lead to god’s miraculous creation of it), but hardly answer a science that he didn’t know.

    It’s the dull, pious bunch of quotes that you’d expect of those anti-science cretins.

    I have no idea what percentage of the total Joel supplied to us. He didn’t include the George Washington quote that Joshua gave us, at least.

    Glen D

  11. raven says

    I wonder if they have the quote from the fundie Fountain of Morality, Jeffry Dahmer? I get my morality from the frozen food section at Safeway. Much easier than you know, killing and eating someone.

    They also need to get all of Stein’s quotes in one place. “Science leads you to killing” and so on.

    The one from Kent Hovind would be interesting. “I didn’t do it and besides it is all the eviloutionists fault.”

  12. says

    Glen, you are correct that very few of the quotes in the book itself have context issue. I brought up context issues in the introduction when discussing general problems with quote mines. The quotes in this book suffer from many problems but few have serious context issues unless one counts age being a context issue. As to the percentage, I don’t have the book on me right now but that looks to be about slightly a third ofthe quotes in the book. When I get back to my apartment I’ll go check what fraction of the quotes Joel has transcribed.

  13. Quiet Desperation says

    Sheesh. Expelled doesn’t even deserve nomination for a Razzie.

    No kidding, but I was curious if they bothered to submit it. I once read that Columbia Pictures submitted Ishtar back in 1987, although that could be mythical.

  14. JSug says

    If you’re really curious (or a bit masochistic), and have a Netflix account, you can watch Expelled via their “Instant Watch” online streaming service. All you need is a web browser, or any one of the many devices that now support Netflix streaming. I think Netflix pays licensing fees for streamed videos up front, so you can at least console yourself that you wouldn’t be giving them any additional money. Plus you won’t have to relinquish a spot in your Netflix DVD queue, leaving space for more worthy titles, like “Gigli” or “Ishtar”.

  15. Natalie says

    JSug – slightly more than a web browser is needed. I know the streaming doesn’t work on G4 era Macs, and probably doesn’t work on older Windows machines either.

  16. says

    Nice link. The older something is, the more authority it has does seem to be the prevailing mindset among theists, especially for the purposes of quote mining. So here’s a quote for Stein:
    “But the whole vital process of the earth takes place so gradually and in periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life, that these changes are not observed, and before their course can be recorded from beginning to end whole nations perish and are destroyed.”
    — Aristotle
    Meteorology, 351b, 8-13. In Jonathan Barnes (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle (1984), Vol. I, 573

    I wonder what Stein would think about that.

    I had thought about playing their game by “quote mining” the Bible, but the stories taken in context are already so ludicrous that the whole exercise would be rather pointless. In fact, that’s probably how the discipline of quote mining arose in the first place.

  17. JSug says

    Fair enough. Here are the system requirements from Netflix:

    To watch instantly, you’ll need a computer that meets the following minimum requirements:
    *Windows XP with Service Pack 2, or Vista
    *Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher; or Firefox 2 or higher
    *1.2 GHz processor
    *512 MB RAM
    *An Intel-based Mac with OS 10.4.8 or later
    *Safari 3 or higher; or Firefox 2 or higher
    *1 GB RAM
    *You will also need an active broadband connection to the Internet

  18. Joe M. says

    I recently watched Expelled on Youtube…the entire film has been posted on there for about 9 months in 11 parts. (And during that time, it has gotten something like a whopping 900 views).

    This film is an actual disgrace and I would not recommend giving it any money thru a DVD purchase, or even recognition with a streaming video view on Netflix. Profs Myers and Dawkins have said they were deceived into participating in it, and I believe them.

    I wonder what possible use anyone would have for the book of quote mines in the first place? To use as a crib sheet if giving a creationist lecture? The people who made this flick are not just corrupt ignorami, they really think their viewers are too.

  19. AmyD says

    Geesh, that is really bad manners, to not send you a complimentary cd of a movie that they put you in. That and not inviting you to the premiere, not letting you into the premiere, not informing you beforehand that you would not be allowed in, letting a security guard inform you, and of course wrongly presuming that you would behave badly! Uncivilized louts really.

  20. Watchman says

    Wow, those are really, really great quotes! I guess there IS a God, and Evolution is false!

    I offer even more compelling quotes, attributed to some very wise, wise men, that prove the existence of a deity:

  21. “For know that no one is free, except Zeus.” -Aeschylus
  22. “The dice of Zeus always fall luckily.” -Sophocles [Hah! Take that, Mr. Einstein!]
  23. “Open your mouth and shut your eyes and see what Zeus will send you.” -Aristophanes
  24. “It is not possible either to trick or escape the mind of Zeus.” -Hesiod
  25. “Bear up, my child, bear up; Zeus who oversees and directs all things is still mighty in heaven.” -Sophocles
  26. “An ancient dictum says that when Zeus wanted to destroy someone, he would first drive him mad.” -Jean-Marie Le Pen [Ben Stein, take note.]
  27. LtStorm says

    I actually sat down and watched Expelled a few weeks ago. It’s not as bad as it’s made out to be.

    It’s much worse.

  28. says

    Watchman: Ermm… just for clarification, was listing Le Pen amongst those “wise men” an act of irony. I assume so (you don’t seem like a Nazi fucktard) but it’s hard to tell on the internet.

  29. says

    I recently watched Expelled on Youtube…the entire film has been posted on there for about 9 months in 11 parts. (And during that time, it has gotten something like a whopping 900 views).

    The first part claims over 9,000 views, and part 3 lists 4,578 views. It’s just trivia, but it didn’t seem likely that there’d be so few.

    The fact that it’s still up makes me think that they must want it to be. Someone even mentioned its being on Youtube on a thread that Kevin Miller (the real writer of Expelled) had recently been on. I wished they wouldn’t have, even though I thought they might actually like that it is on Youtube–its still being there suggests that they do.

    Anyhow, part 1 can be found by pasting in this address:, and the rest are available as “Related Videos”.

    Glen D

  30. DataJack says

    JSug @ #22:

    When I check the NetFlix compatibility page, I get this:

    Complete System Requirements
    To watch instantly on your computer, you’ll need a PC meeting the following minimum requirements:

    *Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher, or Windows Vista
    *Internet Explorer version 6 or higher
    *Windows Media Player version 11 (DRM version 5145) or later
    *An active broadband connection to the Internet
    *1.0 GHz processor
    *512 MB RAM
    *3 GB free hard disk drive space
    For the best experience, we recommend:

    *An active broadband Internet connection of at least 1.5 Mbps
    *1.5 GHz processor
    *1 GB RAM

    There’s no mention of Firefox or Mac, and it fails on my Wintel machine if I try to use FF.

  31. says

    The first part claims over 9,000 views

    I restrain myself, with effort.

    Hmmm, this might turn out to be a *gasp* useful application of Ray Comfort! He’d gladly do the work of scanning them in and posting them if asked, I’d imagine… I’m too lazy, nor am I buying the film, heh.

  32. says

    I watched the beginning of Expelled again on Youtube, till I got bored with the lies and the self-referential “evidence” that ID is being unfairly repressed (oh yes, Sternberg says he was unfairly treated, so he must have been).

    One thing that struck me like it hadn’t previously is how important it is to counter lying movies like that one, before more filthy propaganda pieces are put out in the same vein. Stein hypocritically states that he wouldn’t want the flat earth or Holocaust denial taught. Well, why the hell not, you stupid git–other than that they don’t agree with your mindless prejudices?

    Do you know how easy it would be to find a few obscure Ph.D Holocaust denialists who would have as much “evidence” for there being no Holocaust and for “suppression” (they’re far more likely to be explicitly slapped down, in fact) as shown in Expelled for ID and for its suppression (some of which does occur in academia, fortunately, as it does for other BS).

    For a second I was even thinking that I’d like to see a similar “documentary” on the “persecution” of Holocaust deniers, and then I realized that I most emphatically would not. The truth is that it is rather easier to come up with visible evidence for evolution than it is for the Holocaust (that is, in the Holocaust’s entire extent (it is the extent that most deniers deny), though parts are easily enough evidenced), and we are more reliant upon legitimate historians to tell us about the Holocaust than to show that life evolved contingently.

    Of course Stein doesn’t want Holocaust denial taught in schools, what he totally lacks is any kind of principle that would allow the lies of ID to be taught while the lies of Holocaust deniers are not taught. I would guess that if lies about the Holocaust are ever told in public schools, the lies of IDiots like Stein would be fairly likely to have paved the way. No evidence-based epistemology would allow either Holocaust denialism or ID (taught as science)into the schools, while the notion that just because some professors are deluded and dishonest enough to believe in both indicates that they are worthy subjects for grants and teaching, would force both into the schools.

    Stein is one of the most disgusting things existing in America today.

    Glen D

  33. says

    and we are more reliant upon legitimate historians to tell us about the Holocaust than to show that life evolved contingently.

    Of course I meant to write something like:

    and we are more reliant upon legitimate historians to tell us about the Holocaust than we are upon legitimate scientists to show that life evolved contingently.

    Glen D

  34. Watchman says


    Watchman: Ermm… just for clarification, was listing Le Pen amongst those “wise men” an act of irony. I assume so (you don’t seem like a Nazi fucktard) but it’s hard to tell on the internet.

    Heh. Yes, I thought he fit in nicely with some of the themes of Expelled! [jazz hands]

  35. Carlie says

    I’m only able to watch Netflix online with IE; I can’t do it with Firefox. I don’t want to waste any of my time with Expelled or give them an extra hit count on Netflix, though. Watch King Corn instead. Interesting and informative, two things Expelled is not.

  36. ChrisKG says

    Netflix has a much better documentary called “The King of Kong.” It’s a really cool 90 minute film unlike Expelled. It’s highly recommended.

  37. Andrew says

    “Open your mouth and shut your eyes and see what Zeus will send you.” -Aristophanes

    Considering the antics that Zeus gets up to, I think I’ll pass.

  38. says

    Oh no, the people behind Expelled are writing the road signs now:

    And signs in Austin, Texas, recently flashed: “NAZI ZOMBIES! RUN!!!” and “ZOMBIES IN AREA! RUN.”

    They’re claiming it’s pranksters hacking the signs, but we know better.

    Glen D

  39. Molly, NYC says

    Has anyone else noticed that people who believe in woo also tend to believe that valid arguments can be contructed from lists of quotations?

  40. says

    Molly, HIV-AIDS deniers are also fond of quote mining. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the way science works isn’t very intuitive. Humans didn’t evolve to use the scientific method. We evolved to use a variety of heuristics. In a hunter-gatherer society appeals to authority are pretty useful. Not so useful in science. It shouldn’t surprise us that various distinct groups who don’t understand how science works will fall back to very similar methodologies.

  41. Crudely Wrott says

    So, Stein and his cohort of panting sycophants publish a page’s worth of ink and markets it as a book?

    All those who are surprised, spin about rapidly while chanting, “That’s really heavy, man,” until you fall down. The rest of us will then move on, carefully stepping over y’all. And no fair clutching at our feet as we do so. (I know they will anyway. That’s why I’ve liberally lubricated my sole.)

  42. chuckgoecke says

    There exists, I’ve heard, a subtitles file that goes with the Expelled movie called “Lie Correcting Subtitles”. I’ve heard it makes the movie much more enjoyable to watch, except sometimes the lies come too fast for my slow mind to keep up with the reading, I’ve heard.