Friday, April 4, 2008

Something to look forward to

Creationists, young and old alike (excuse the pun), have something to really look forward to: An upcoming movie which explores the Darwinian movement as it is today: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a controversial examination of the theories and people involved in the evolutionist movement today.

To be honest I can't wait to spend my money on this one. I have been reading articles on it and even the evolutionists are fighting for sneak previews:

"When confronted at the screening by Myers' friend Richard Dawkins, a prominent atheist who is himself featured in the film, as to why Myers was 'expelled' from the screening, producer Mark Mathis replied that the producers were eager for Myers to screen the film but only after he had paid $10 to watch it with the rest of America after it releases on April 18th."[SOURCE]

I'm starting to like Ben Stein, we have the same birthday.... Oh and I like the idea of this movie.

But, of course there is always the Wikipedia view of things:

"One of the pro-evolution scientists interviewed for Expelled claims that he was interviewed under false pretenses and assumes the quotes are edited in a way that misrepresents his original statements" ... "This claim has been further corroborated by an incident where the same scientist, who was acknowledged in the credits, was ejected from a private screening on March 20th, 2008, and not allowed to view the movie."[SOURCE]

I have been looking for this 'corroboration' but have been unable to see it. If P.Z. Meyers has been misrepresented, then it doesn't matter when he sees the movie. Plus not even old Richie Dawkins claims that they were misrepresented. He had more problems with the crowd, apparently. I suppose he's fortunate for him that evolutionism teaches survival, rather than sacrifice.

"They singled me out and evicted me, but they didn't notice my guest. They let him go in escorted by my wife and daughter. I guess they didn't recognize him. My guest was …

Richard Dawkins." [SOURCE]

And Richard had a lot to say [HERE]. It's amazing how people will react when they are treated the way they treat others. If you are goning to be exclusivistic, then be prepared to be excluded. Of course they would know that if they had read their bibles.

"The whole tone of the film is whiny, paranoid -- pathetic really. The narrator is somebody called Ben Stein. I had not heard of him, but apparently he is well known to Americans, for it is hard to see why else he would have been chosen to front the film. He certainly can't have been chosen for his knowledge of science, nor his powers of logical reasoning, nor his box office appeal (heavens, no), and his speaking voice is an irritating, nasal drawl, innocent of charm and of consonants. I suppose that makes it a good voice for conveying the whingeing paranoia that I referred to, so maybe that was qualification enough." [SOURCE]

Can anyone smell the ad hominem? As to the eviction, well there's speculation. Apparently, the speculation that Meyers had no ticket and was disturbing the crowd is unfounded - more reliable sources state that Mark Mathis, producer, had this to say:

"Yes, I turned Mr. Myers away. He was not an invited guest of Premise Media. This was a private screening of an unfinished film. I could have let him in, just as I invited Michael Shermer to a screening in Nashville. Shermer is in the film as well. But, in light of Myers’ untruthful blogging about ‘Expelled’ I decided it was better to have him wait until April 18 and pay to see the film. Others, notable others, were permitted to see the film. At a private screening it’s my call."[SOURCE]

So there you have it. You could have registered on the net, or you could have been invited. Since some where explicitly excluded, some were not. It's amazing how post modern Richard Dawkins is. He looks at his own understanding and assumes it's truth. There's a lesson for our kids: "It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you are louder than the other guy."

All in all, we weren't there. I believe that the side on which you fall will depend on how much you trust either of the parties, not on the evidence of what happened - since we will only ever have the parties testimonies. And you know what? If Mark wants to be a kid in the playground and say "it's my call!" - then so what? If it is his call - then let him make his call. It's childish, yes, but what can we do? Any response to it is becoming the other kid in the playground. Grow up.

This is probably going to do a lot. It has a lot of potential, my prayer is that it comes through with a gospel message. If not, then let's hope it opens the door for one. I'm excited and optimistic.

8 April Update: I found this, a creationist review:
[AiG on Expelled]


Anonymous said...

This films' main thesis, that anyone in the science community who believes in God, or is a Darwin dissenter is being "expelled" is false at its core.

In a New York Times interview, Walter Ruloff (producer of Expelled) said that researchers, who had studied cellular mechanisms, made findings suggestive of an intelligent designer. "But they are afraid to report them".
Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”, explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Mr. Ruloff said that Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line”.

That’s “just ludicrous,” Dr. Collins said
in a telephone interview. While many of his scientific colleagues are not religious and some are “a bit puzzled” by his faith, he said, “they are generally very respectful.” He said that if the problem Mr. Ruloff describes existed, he is certain he would know about it.

Similarly, Dr. Ken Miller is a professed Christian who wrote "Finding Darwin's God" (which I suggest you read). Dr. Miller has not been "expelled" in any fashion for his belief in God.

The movie tries to make the case that "Big Science" is nothing but a huge atheist conspiracy out to silence believers, but only presents a very one-sided look at some of the Discovery Institute's "martyrs".

Carolyn Crocker "expelled"? - No.
Her annual teaching contract was not renewed. Was she "fired" for daring to bring God into research? - No. She was hired to teach Cell Biology, and she decided to ignore the schools' curriculum and substitute her own curriculum.

Guillermo Gonzalez "expelled"? - No.
He was not granted tenure. The film doesn't bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he had only brought in only a miniscule amount of grant money. Nor does it bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he failed to mentor a single student through to their PhD. Nor does it mention that in his career at ISU, his previous excellent record of publication had dropped precipitously.

Richard von Sternberg "expelled"? - No.
Sternberg continues to work for NIH in the same capacity. Of course the movie doesn't bring up his underhanded tactics in getting Meyers work published.

This movie attempts to influence it's viewers with dishonesty, half-truths, and by a completely one-sided presentation of the facts.

If a scientists' research is not accepted by the scientific community, it isn't because the scientist either believes or doesn't believe in God or Darwin, it is usually because they are producing bad science.

Benjamin Franklin

Qjay said...

Hey, thanks for copying and pasting a (or your) comment from other sites. I really love repetitious content. Good Samaritans are always welcome here.

Ad hominems aside, if what you say is true, then I would be very saddened. It would be another hurdle to overcome rather than a help.

You seem a lot more informed than I do. I would like to know where you got the film's main thesis from. It's not that I do not believe you, but you lack reference. That's unscientific.

I think scientists should be fired for bad science. Failure to publish, produce PhD students and lack of grant money are usually very indicative of a lack of work going on. But then, in defense of fairness - people are so dogmatic in Darwin's theories that people will not fun "anti-Darwinian" research, which would lead to a decline in all the before-mentioned areas. Now just because people refuse to fund an area, does not remove from it's credibility or necessity. While there is doubt (and there is) in Darwin's theories, it is scientifically dangerous not to have a counter-model. But no-one wants to hear it or see it. That's not science.

You comment reeks of research, yet fails to present any reference. You see, as a (published) scientist, this is the first thing I look for before believing anything. I am not the first person to notice, by the way. Ryan is quite right in his response to your lack of citation.

I have never believed that "Big science" is an atheist conspiracy, so I would not what to categorized with such people. You see, Ben, at this blog I am interested in three things: 1. God is Lord of the universe 2. We are sinners in need of a saviour and 3. Let's talk intellectually.

Carolyn Crocker - reference? What was the curriculum, and where is the proof she differed from it? It's not that I don't believe you, but it's unverifiable. That is seriously unholy ground for a scientist.

Gonzalez - I have discussed the main issue above. It could be as a result of him being a creationist(or at least anti-Darwinian) that no one wants to sponsor him. Dogmatism on the part of the sponsor has no bearing on the quality, relevance or truthfulness on the part of the research.

All in all, as a reporter, you prove quite bad. So why should I take your word for it? However, I will keep your thoughts in mind when I watch the film. I believe that all inputs should be observed and explored.

I will take your reading recommendation, no matter how impersonal it was! Thank you!

Qjay said...

"This movie attempts to influence it's viewers with dishonesty, half-truths, and by a completely one-sided presentation of the facts."

Firstly, have you seen it? Give examples rather that blanket-statements.

Secondly - have you seen the manner in which Darwinian theories are presented. Even proponents of Darwinism trip over themselves calling it "...proven scientific theory..." Which is antithesis.