Jump to content
Peter T Chattaway

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Recommended Posts

So to call the string of proteins in our DNA a "code" that contains "information" is essentially to assert, right from the get-go, that there is yet another subjective entity -- let's call it "God" -- who put that "information" there.)

Peter: Contrary to what you've said here, to liken DNA to a code or to say that DNA contains information does not require that you assert a designer. You don't have to be a theist to draw this sort of inference from DNA. It is far from controversial to suggest that DNA functions as a code or a set of instructions that direct the development and function of an organism. The debate is over what mechanism(s) caused this information to come about. Some believe that first comes matter and energy, and then comes information. Others believe that information comes first. But there is a growing sense amongst scientists in many disciplines that information is one of the fundamental properties--if not the fundamental property--of the universe.

If we can believe that God works through natural and seemingly random processes when we contemplate our origins as persons, then I see no reason why we cannot believe that God works through natural and seemingly random processes when we contemplate our origins as a species.

When I say ID is friendly to belief in God in a way that classical Darwinism is not, what I mean is Darwinism literally has no need for the God hypothesis. According to Darwinists like Richard Dawkins, everything can be explained purely by natural forces--including the origin of information, consciousness, and life itself. If you want to bring God into the picture, that is a belief that you are adding to science. It is not required by the science itself, and many Neo-Darwinists believe it gets in the way of science. ID, on the other hand, suggests that rather than something tacked onto one's interpretation of science, God--or whoever you believe to be the Intelligent Designer--is literally at the heart of nature itself, as expressed through information like the genetic code. Therefore, the search for potential signs of intelligence in nature becomes a legitimate scientific enterprise rather than a pseudo-scientific one. IDers are essentially asking the same question as the Darwinists: How did the information get there? What separates them from the Darwinists is that they are willing to consider intelligence as one possible cause. This is not to deny the power of mechanisms like random mutation and natural selection. All the IDers are saying is that such forces are simply inadequate to explain the origin and development of life. Once again, it is not just the IDers who are questioning this. There is huge debate amongst the Darwinists themselves as to which mechanisms are most important and at what level (group, individual, molecular) they operate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scientists Feel Miscast in Film on Life's Origin

A few months ago, the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins received an e-mail message from a producer at Rampant Films inviting him to be interviewed for a documentary called "Crossroads."

The film, with Ben Stein, the actor, economist and freelance columnist, as its host, is described on Rampant's Web site as an examination of the intersection of science and religion. Dr. Dawkins was an obvious choice. An eminent scientist who teaches at Oxford University in England, he is also an outspoken atheist who has repeatedly likened religious faith to a mental defect.

But now, Dr. Dawkins and other scientists who agreed to be interviewed say they are surprised -- and in some cases, angered -- to find themselves not in "Crossroads" but in a film with a new name and one that makes the case for intelligent design, an ideological cousin of creationism. The film, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," also has a different producer, Premise Media. . . .

New York Times, September 27

Come On Guys....You can do better than THAT!

That said -- we do apologize to the supposed "victims" showcased by the article, for hiding our true identity as a mere "front" for the hairy, unwashed mass of knuckle dragging misanthropes who are allegedly behind this film -- or in other words, for not identifying ourselves as the caricature of those who do not agree with their particular views on evolution or life's origins.

Personally, we are amazed that a regressive troop such as ours could have pulled off such a remarkable feat against a highly evolved group of "experts."! . . .

The release references "Crossroads," as a "tentative" title, if that's OK? So just to set the record straight, the film was titled EXPELLED only after we began to see the disturbing pattern and shocking information that the footage reveals! So, thanks for the title guys, we couldn't have done it without you! And we're still considering using "Crossroads" for something else! Watch out. . . .

Expelledthemovie.com, September 28

- - -

Somebody at the movie's website needs to learn how to post links to the articles that they are supposedly rebutting. It doesn't give us any reason to hope that the film will celebrate good research habits or open and transparent dialogue if the rebuttal fails to even MENTION where the article appeared.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know why I hadn't replied to this yet...

KevinMillerXI wrote:

: Contrary to what you've said here, to liken DNA to a code or to say that DNA contains information does not require that you assert a designer.

Well that depends on what you mean by "information", doesn't it? In common parlance, "information" is a set of data that one person intends to communicate to one or more other persons. So unless we are willing to redefine what we mean by "information" and to educate the public on the proper meaning of that word, we probably shouldn't use that word, because it will prejudice the debate.

FWIW, in an article here, Richard Dawkins builds on a technical/economic definition of "information" developed by Claude Shannon in 1948, and applies it to genetic "information":

Perhaps the main lesson we should learn from Pringle is that
the information content of a biological system is another name for its complexity
. Therefore the creationist challenge with which we began is tantamount to the standard challenge to explain how biological complexity can evolve from simpler antecedents, one that I have devoted three books to answering (The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable) and I do not propose to repeat their contents here. The "information challenge" turns out to be none other than our old friend: "How could something as complex as an eye evolve?" It is just dressed up in fancy mathematical language - perhaps in an attempt to bamboozle. Or perhaps those who ask it have already bamboozled themselves, and don't realise that it is the same old - and thoroughly answered - question. . . .

Mutation is not an increase in true information content, rather the reverse, for mutation, in the Shannon analogy, contributes to increasing the prior uncertainty. But now we come to natural selection, which reduces the "prior uncertainty" and therefore, in Shannon's sense, contributes information to the gene pool. In every generation, natural selection removes the less successful genes from the gene pool, so the remaining gene pool is a narrower subset. The narrowing is nonrandom, in the direction of improvement, where improvement is defined, in the Darwinian way, as improvement in fitness to survive and reproduce. Of course the total range of variation is topped up again in every generation by new mutation and other kinds of variation. But it still remains true that natural selection is a narrowing down from an initially wider field of possibilities, including mostly unsuccessful ones, to a narrower field of successful ones. This is analogous to the definition of information with which we began: information is what enables the narrowing down from prior uncertainty (the initial range of possibilities) to later certainty (the "successful" choice among the prior probabilities). According to this analogy, natural selection is
by definition
a process whereby information is fed into the gene pool of the next generation. . . .

: Some believe that first comes matter and energy, and then comes information. Others believe that information comes first. But there is a growing sense amongst scientists in many disciplines that information is one of the fundamental properties--if not the fundamental property--of the universe.

The pattern exists before the matter and energy that embody the pattern? Really? Which scientists are saying this, and how reputable are they?

: : If we can believe that God works through natural and seemingly random processes when we contemplate our origins as persons, then I see no reason why we cannot believe : that God works through natural and seemingly random processes when we contemplate our origins as a species.

:

: When I say ID is friendly to belief in God in a way that classical Darwinism is not, what I mean is Darwinism literally has no need for the God hypothesis.

Well, neither does the narrative of how my parents met and conceived me.

: ID, on the other hand, suggests that rather than something tacked onto one's interpretation of science, God--or whoever you believe to be the Intelligent Designer--is literally at the heart of nature itself, as expressed through information like the genetic code. Therefore, the search for potential signs of intelligence in nature becomes a legitimate scientific enterprise rather than a pseudo-scientific one.

In that case, ID must propose falsifiable hypotheses and so forth, and conduct experiments to test these hypotheses. Does it? Not that I've seen, though I admittedly don't have a library on the subject. I do know, though, that devout evangelical Christian scientists -- and self-described evolutionary creationsts -- such as Denis Lamoureux have chastised ID for failing to do this sort of thing, at least as of several years ago.

: IDers are essentially asking the same question as the Darwinists: How did the information get there? What separates them from the Darwinists is that they are willing to consider intelligence as one possible cause.

This does not sound at all different from earlier generations of creationism. Some people think complexity got there through purely natural means, others think it was put there by an even more complex entity (i.e. a creator/designer). Moving the discussion from the outward morphology to the inner genetics doesn't really change anything.

: This is not to deny the power of mechanisms like random mutation and natural selection. All the IDers are saying is that such forces are simply inadequate to explain the origin and development of life. Once again, it is not just the IDers who are questioning this. There is huge debate amongst the Darwinists themselves as to which mechanisms are most important and at what level (group, individual, molecular) they operate.

Ah, but IDers are not content to debate mechanisms. Indeed, they want to bypass/transcend mechanisms altogether. Unless they are proposing now that "intelligence" itself is just a mechanism, in which case I would ask what separates their "theory" from the Dawkins/Blackmore idea that the human brain is just a "meme machine".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Screengrab Exclusive Preview: EXPELLED - NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED

Last week, I attended -- well, really, infiltrated is the proper word -- CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC. A gathering of true believers, donors, hucksters, pundits and politicians of the extreme right-wing conservative momement, CPAC has, for a number of decades, been the premier venue for those seeking to court the votes of the nation's most reactionary thinkers. Both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney spoke at this year's CPAC, and I was there; Mitt Romney announced the suspension of his campaign at this year's CPAC (to the great disappointment of the right-wing faithful, who had inexplicably anointed him the new successor to St. Reagan), and I was there. More importantly to Screengrab readers, though, there were exclusive screenings of a number of new films made by and targeted at the extreme right, and once again, I was there. . . .

Expelled's central thesis is that an arrogant cabal of Marxist academics, politically correct leftists, and scientific ideologues are conspiring to keep the teaching of "Intelligent Design" -- a non-theory that is essentially creation science dressed up and given a new set of buzzwords -- off of college campuses. In aid of this theses, Stein wanders around with a camera crew, engaging in Moorean antics that involve him drawing calculated outrage and obnoxious bluster from a number of scientists, academics, and other detractors of ID. If all you want to do is upset authority figures, of course, it's not hard to do; people like Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers are easy to rile up, especially when confronted with an irritating talk show host berating them about their unwillingness to discuss total nonsense. If you want to see a bunch of straw men soaked with seltzer, Expelled attains a certain level of success; the right people are made to look foolish or self-important, if for all the wrong reasons.

However, if you want to see what the movie actually promises -- a genuinely successful argument over why Intelligent Design should or should not be taught in schools -- you'd best look elsewhere. The movie spends very little time in discussing the actual hypotheses of ID, no doubt because they're largely open-ended and unfalsifiable, and thus poor science. It's not so much a theory as it is a loosely slapped-together, multi-pronged critique of other theories, and is no more science than the man in the moon or the tooth fairy. . . .

Leonard Pierce, The ScreenGrab, February 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Expelled's central thesis is that an arrogant cabal of Marxist academics, politically correct leftists, and scientific ideologues are conspiring to keep the teaching of "Intelligent Design" -- a non-theory that is essentially creation science dressed up and given a new set of buzzwords -- off of college campuses.

Well, at least he's not completely biased.

However, if you want to see what the movie actually promises -- a genuinely successful argument over why Intelligent Design should or should not be taught in schools -- you'd best look elsewhere.

This isn't promising, though.

The movie spends very little time in discussing the actual hypotheses of ID, no doubt because they're largely open-ended and unfalsifiable, and thus poor science. It's not so much a theory as it is a loosely slapped-together, multi-pronged critique of other theories, and is no more science than the man in the moon or the tooth fairy. . . .

While ID has it's problems... I'm starting to think that it will never get a "fair trial" so long as people keep painting it this way. Unfalsifiable? Disprove the concept of irreducible complexity and I.D. will go away. Perhaps it's just poorly named, as the "science" part (irreducible complexity) is overshadowed by the conclusion (presumably supernatural involvement in the process of evolution.)

I went to Christian high school so I never had a formal education on evolution, but from the bits I know it seems like I.D. is more "falsifiable" than evolution. It's hard to falsify creation, evolution, and even things like scientology when talking about pre-recorded history. Everyone's just guessing, why shouldn't we admit it?

Edited by theoddone33

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

theoddone33 wrote:

: Disprove the concept of irreducible complexity and I.D. will go away.

Well, in one of our threads on ID itself, there is a link to an article which argues that irreducible complexity -- or, rather, the significance that some would make of it -- was already "disproved" back in the 1930s. Essentially, it is possible to get irreducibly complex systems from reducibly complex systems. Sometimes you evolve something that is not essential, merely advantageous; but as other features are whittled out of your system, the former advantage becomes a necessity. In theory, at least, that sounds very plausible to me.

The question is whether we can chart any particular path from simple to reducibly complex to irreducibly complex. And I haven't a clue whether we can.

- - -

New mutation in Darwin debate

Those looking for proof of Charles Darwin's survival of the fittest theory need look no further than the cutthroat business of ... documentary making and marketing.

Lifting a page from the Michael Moore school of confrontational non-fiction, Premise Media's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" aims to dislodge Darwin and evolution as the primary doctrines taught in public-school science classes.

Producers of the $3.5 million film, which has been enthusiastically backed by anti-evolution think tank the Discovery Institute, have harnessed some big guns to get the film's message out. . . .

Variety, February 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
opus   

Brett McCracken:

I came into this film very, very skeptical, worried that it would be all about trying to disprove evolution and argue for creationism (thereby reinforcing stereotypes of anti-intellectual religious fundamentalists). I was worried that it would further reinforce the (false) binary that says Christianity and science are on two sides of a battle and can never have any common ground. But I was pleasantly surprised with Expelled on a number of levels.

First of all, it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a little dumb to screen this only for Christian critics. It really invites these kinds of situations:

Shortly before he was to attend a screening in January of the documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” which is about alternatives to the theory of evolution, Roger Moore, a film critic for The Orlando Sentinel, learned that his invitation had been revoked by the film’s marketers.

“Well, you already invited me,” he recalled thinking at the time. “I’m going to go.”

So Mr. Moore traveled to a local megachurch and planted himself among a large group of pastors to watch the movie. In it, Ben Stein, the actor and economist (and regular contributor to The New York Times) interviews scientists and teachers who say that Darwinism gets too much emphasis in the classroom and that proponents of the theory of intelligent design are treated unfairly.

There were nondisclosure agreements to sign that day, but Mr. Moore did not, and proceeded to write perhaps the harshest review “Expelled” has received thus far. The film will open April 18, but has been screened several times privately for religious audiences. Mr. Moore deplored what he perceived as “loaded images, loaded rhetoric, few if any facts” and accused Mr. Stein of using a “Holocaust denier’s” tactics.

Which, of course, was exactly the reaction the moviemakers were hoping to avoid by keeping mainstream critics out.(link)

The review in question is worth a read.

How do you re-package that tried, untested and untestable faith-without-facts warhorse, "Creationism" after its nearly-annual beat-down by an increasingly exasperated scientific community?

After you've tried renaming it "Intelligent Design," I mean.

With comedy. Mock your "Darwinist" foes the way comics, thinkers, scientists and educated people everywhere have been mocking creationism since Scopes took that monkey off our back.

....

It's a movie that uses animation, archival documentary footage, interviews with outraged "people of science" who want ID on the table, and "atheists" (scientists) who see all this as a step backward, all freighted to back up the argument that it stifled "freedom" when you refuse to consider the work of a supernatural being in America's science classes.

It just isn't particularly funny. Or the least bit convincing.

I lost track of the number of times Stalin's image hit the screen, and in the ways the movie equated science with Darwinism with atheism with Hitler or Stalin. Subtle, it's not.

(link)

Haha!

Edited by Holy Moly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The review in question is worth a read.

This movie is sounding more and more like a dud. Although hearing from a reviewer who isn't actively hostile to the existence of I.D. would be nice.

In other news, I think it's pointless and backwards to make this movie and then pre-screen it for religious audiences only. Makes me wonder why it was made in the first place... thoughtful analysis or real issues or religious-conservative

circle-jerk

?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

theoddone33 wrote:

: . . . or religious-conservative

circle-jerk

?

Do you mean "religious-conservative" in the sense of "a union of religious people and socio-politically conservative people", or in the sense of "religious people from the theologically conservative end of the religious continuum"?

I ask because one of the things that bothers me about the way this film has been marketed is the way it seems to be portraying ID as a politically "conservative" thing. Ideally, science should not be either liberal OR conservative; there should be facts and theories and even headstrong defenders of those theories, but the facts and theories should not be pigeonholed as "liberal" or "conservative". Yet the one thing people might know about this movie before they see it is that it is hosted by a former speechwriter for Nixon.

Fortunately, the film is hosted (if that's the word) by a Jew (though how religious he is about his Judaism, I could not say) rather than a Christian, so those who critique the film will not be able to write ID off as a merely evangelical Christian kind of thing. On the other hand, ID advocates have frequently said, at least publicly, that ID theory makes no assumptions whatsoever about the IDENTITY of the Intelligent Designer, yet in the trailers for this film, Ben Stein very clearly equates the Intelligent Designer with "God". So while the film avoids associating ID with any PARTICULAR religion, it does deepen the impression some may have that ID is essentially a religious belief and not a scientific belief.

In the meantime, here's the newest trailer:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you mean "religious-conservative" in the sense of "a union of religious people and socio-politically conservative people", or in the sense of "religious people from the theologically conservative end of the religious continuum"?

The latter seems closer to what I'm thinking.

This is starting to seem like a "by the Christians, for the Christians" movie about how evil godless darwinists are trying to silence religion in the public square. I can't verify if that's the case since the critics thus far have been pretty biased, but if so then I'm disappointed. It's worthless as a film about how religion should be taught in schools... it's valuable as a film about how I.D. shouldn't be classified as religion in the first place and thus the separation of church and state argument against its teaching is invalid. (Though there may be other valid arguments against teaching I.D.)

I suspect if it was the movie I'd hoped, they wouldn't be pre-screening it to Christians. Although a lot of people do need a good "I.D. isn't creationism" kick in the head... on both sides of the aisle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I posted that Dawkins story late last night, there have been close to 4,000 unique visitors to that post, and in a few short hours this is already a record-setting day at Looking Closer. And it appears from the comments that most of the visitors are first-time visitors who are here to defend Dawkins. Wild.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since I posted that Dawkins story late last night, there have been close to 4,000 unique visitors to that post, and in a few short hours this is already a record-setting day at Looking Closer. And it appears from the comments that most of the visitors are first-time visitors who are here to defend Dawkins. Wild.

--And Jeffrey, quoting George W. Bush, says, "Bring 'em on!" ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You haven't seen the posts I've deleted. I'm getting buried in messages that read like they've been written by the Uruk-Hai. Check out the tone of the comments on this page. I mean, I'm all for comments and discussion, but those folks have all the dignity of a gang of playground bullies.

Edited by Overstreet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you mean "religious-conservative" in the sense of "a union of religious people and socio-politically conservative people", or in the sense of "religious people from the theologically conservative end of the religious continuum"?

The latter seems closer to what I'm thinking.

This is starting to seem like a "by the Christians, for the Christians" movie about how evil godless darwinists are trying to silence religion in the public square. I can't verify if that's the case since the critics thus far have been pretty biased, but if so then I'm disappointed. It's worthless as a film about how religion should be taught in schools... it's valuable as a film about how I.D. shouldn't be classified as religion in the first place and thus the separation of church and state argument against its teaching is invalid. (Though there may be other valid arguments against teaching I.D.)

I suspect if it was the movie I'd hoped, they wouldn't be pre-screening it to Christians. Although a lot of people do need a good "I.D. isn't creationism" kick in the head... on both sides of the aisle.

There are good reasons to pre-screen the movie to Christians, beyond making it a "religious" issue. If you have a message (as the makers of Expelled believe they do) that you want to get out, but you find yourself constantly shut down by the media and the academy (as ID, or even just criticisms of Darwinian evolution, often is), you need to have substantial backing. You need your friends to get involved, get invested, and see the film. Reaching out to Christian groups makes sense, if they want the film to be successful.

As far as the movie being "about how evil godless darwinists are trying to silence religion in the public square," I can tell you that it's not. The reason there's much at stake in the debate over intelligent design and evolution is that both have significant moral, philosophical and religious implications. Of course there are some religious Darwinists just as there are agnostic ID proponents. There are also certain atheist agitators who remain committed to Darwinism because it functions as a belief system for them. I think that the responses you see in the comments at Pharyngula reflect that. And I think the "expulsion" of PZ Myers, while foolish, might be understandable when you consider the opposition...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M. Leary   
There are good reasons to pre-screen the movie to Christians, beyond making it a "religious" issue.

I am at a loss on this one. I can't think of one circumstance in which it would benefit a film to market it specifically to Christians until it had enough momentum to play on more screens. I am more than ready to be corrected on this.

And I think the "expulsion" of PZ Myers, while foolish, might be understandable when you consider the opposition...

I am not sure I want to pigeonhole someone who subscribes to evolution anymore than I want to be pigeonholed as a fundy because I go to church on Sundays. I know as many articulate and thoughtul "evolutionists" as I do "creationists" or "ID people." I have no problem reading comments such as the ones on JO's blog and realizing that such strange vitriol is not so indicative of everyone who claims evolution as a cosmology. I guess I just don't consider "them" the "opposition" even though I don't subscribe to evolution. Usually "they" are good conversations waiting to happen.

Edited by MLeary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PZ Meyer's account of the evening is worth reading.

I'm trying to reserve judgment until I see the film, but to accuse the scientific community of suppressing open dialogue and then engaging in these strong-arm tactics is downright pathetic.

The most interesting part of the account Jeffrey posted is the supposed spoiler: The reader reports that " Many scenes are centered around the Berlin Wall, and Ben Stein being Jewish actually visits many death camps and death showers. In fact, Nazi Germany is the thread that ties everything in the movie together. Evolution leads to atheism leads to eugenics leads to Holocaust and Nazi Germany." (This is after he tells us that the film "does not bash evolution".)

If this is accurate, I do not hold high hopes for this film's ability to make a sustained rational argument. Godwin's law, anyone? Indeed, it seems the likely outcome is only further embarrassment and marginalization of people who grew up being taught creationist views. Young people will probably leave the church as a result of this film.

Edited by Holy Moly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am at a loss on this one. I can't think of one circumstance in which it would benefit a film to market it specifically to Christians until it had enough momentum to play on more screens. I am more than ready to be corrected on this.

This isn't my area of expertise, but I understand Motive Marketing (the people who were hired to market The Passion and Narnia) is successful in doing just that.

I am not sure I want to pigeonhole someone who subscribes to evolution anymore than I want to be pigeonholed as a fundy because I go to church on Sundays. I know as many articulate and thoughtul "evolutionists" as I do "creationists" or "ID people." I have no problem reading comments such as the ones on JO's blog and realizing that such strange vitriol is not so indicative of everyone who claims evolution as a cosmology. I guess I just don't consider "them" the "opposition" even though I don't subscribe to evolution. Usually "they" are good conversations waiting to happen.

I understand that an "us vs. them" mentality is a problem, especially in this debate, but this particular individual is probably not a good conversation waiting to happen. :) I agree that it was stupid for whoever was running security to kick him out, but I think that there might be some justifiable concerns about people attending these screenings with the intent of disruption. It's one thing to engage in civilized dialogue with a colleague. It's another to face someone actively trying to hamper your efforts at getting your film out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not as if they'll leave the theater saying, "That's it! I give up! I'm an atheist now." But for young christians, already fantastically concerned with their status as cultural outsiders, identifying christianity with unfounded and embarrassing persecution fantasies and blaming scientists and atheists for the holocaust will certainly make adherence to their childhood faith a less attractive option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, the whole thing is perfectly explicable.

These screenings are part of a dog-and-pony show for the film's target demographic. So you don't trot out Stein or Mathis to hostile -- or even potentially hostile -- crowds. That would be what you might call a "publicity snafu," one that could alienate the talent and derail the whole tour.

Now, if events turn against you, as a promoter your first instinct will be: How can I turn this to my favor? How much controversy is good, and how much is bad?

Do you want to turn both Dawkins AND Myers away? Or maybe just one?

If I'm Paul Lauer right now, I've got to be thinking: "My strategy is working perfectly! Look at the record traffic on both Christian AND anti-Christian sites! I haven't seen this much pre-release chatter since... The Passion!"

And this for a film that several mainstream news outlets decided would be best to just ignore...

I know that, as an editor for a commercial website, I'm thrilled that panties of all stripes are getting bunched up over a tempest in a teacup. It means readership will spike, and that can be used to draw ancillary attention to all sorts of other things. It'll be good for business.

But as a person and as a Christian, I think: get a grip. This is marketing and entertainment. It's a conservative version of Fahrenheit 9/11. (And it might even be a good movie; haven't seen it yet.) It's the Big Show, that's all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's not as if they'll leave the theater saying, "That's it! I give up! I'm an atheist now." But for young christians, already fantastically concerned with their status as cultural outsiders, identifying christianity with unfounded and embarrassing persecution fantasies and blaming scientists and atheists for the holocaust will certainly make adherence to their childhood faith a less attractive option.

Two things:

First, If what you say about young Christians is true, then I doubt this film would be the straw to break the camel's back. But I think the concern you've voiced is more applicable to people outside the Faith or those to whom Jesus is not central . . . but that's a topic for a separate comment thread.

More pertinent to this conversation, I doubt the stories presented in this film are fantasies to the people who experienced them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×