Jump to content

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 416
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

That IS a great quote.

Greg Wright wrote:

: It's certainly true, also, that I'm not a very valid test case because my training helps me suss these things out more clear-headedly than, say, Blessman.

Just wondering: Does this seem like the sort of film that is conducive to clear-headed sussing?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/03/proac..._for_pz_my.html

PZ Myers at the University of Minnesota, regarding what should be done with intelligent design advocates:

The only appropriate response should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy, far-right politicians

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeffrey, I agree that rhetoric like that doesn't accomplish anything, but I don't know whether to be more annoyed with Meyers himself, or the filmmakers who choose to present him as the face of evolution. Kind of reminds me of putting Pastor Becky Fischer forward as the face of Christianity in Jesus Camp.

In both contexts, much of the films' respective audiences likely don't have the requisite personal experience to know whether the people they're seeing onscreen accurately represent the views and manner of most Christian ministers/evolutionary biologists.

Edited by Holy Moly!
Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess this is an example of what Greg means when he says, "Myers is caustic and harsh and often goofy and childish."

Still, however right he may be on certain points, I really don't want to give somebody who uses tactics like these any more space on the platform. That's like inviting Michael Moore to be a spokesperson for reason. He may have some of the right opinions, but he is oh so wrong, and even destructive, in his manner.

I would contend that that is precisely why the Expelled people want him and Dawkins in the film, rather than more moderate voices. They want the opposition to look as evil as possible - so we get these and Stalin and Khrushchev (Greg isn't sure it's Nikita, but I'm pretty sure it is) and Hitler.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeffrey, I agree that rhetoric like that doesn't accomplish anything, but I don't know whether to be more annoyed with Meyers himself, or the filmmakers who choose to present him as the face of evolution. Kind of reminds me of putting Pastor Becky Fischer forward as the face of Christianity in Jesus Camp.

In both contexts, much of the films' respective audiences likely don't have the requisite personal experience to know whether the people they're seeing onscreen accurately represent the views and manner of most Christian ministers/evolutionary biologists.

This is my greatest concern regarding this film. Most of the public who are likely to actually go see it probably do not have the requisite experience or background to recognize what is being done in this film and will take it at face value as Mr. Blessman did. It may take an uninvolved maderate and push them towards a less moderate (and less accurate) understanding. Michael Moore is certainly guilty of the same thing. I remember considering a couple of his bits in 9/11 and saying to myself that "that is not an accurate or logical conclusion based on that presentation.". Like Greg, however, I am aware enough to recognize the techniques and the attempts at manipulation. Many persons who saw that film came out believing every word of it. While I agree with much of Moores overall points, I felt he did a disservice to those who look for accuracy in reporting.

The problem inherent in much 'discussion' these days is that each side pulls out the most extreme example of the opposing side and waves it around while jumping up and down yelling and pointing fingers. The 99% of the population between these guys are just trying to understnd what the fuss is all about.

You do not realize enough that your attention is your only chance. Without it you can do nothing. -
Jeanne de Salzmann

Link to post
Share on other sites
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/03/proac..._for_pz_my.html

PZ Myers at the University of Minnesota, regarding what should be done with intelligent design advocates:

The only appropriate response should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy, far-right politicians

You do not realize enough that your attention is your only chance. Without it you can do nothing. -
Jeanne de Salzmann

Link to post
Share on other sites
Still, however right he may be on certain points, I really don't want to give somebody who uses tactics like these any more space on the platform. That's like inviting Michael Moore to be a spokesperson for reason. He may have some of the right opinions, but he is oh so wrong, and even destructive, in his manner.

Tactics like... what?

It's wrong to fire teachers for incompetance and violating the constitution? It's wrong to actively take on creationist propaganda? It's wrong to vote against politicians you think are sleezy? Or even to think that they are sleezy? It's wrong to advocate these things?

If so, then make your case.

Honestly, I look at the suspiciously content-free shock people have at statements like the quoted one, which are nothing more than vigorous calls for action, and I have a hard time understanding how anyone can take it seriously. It's as if we're just supposed to gasp and shudder merely because someone dares to have strong opinions that they argue for vigorously, as if that was in and of itself offensive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is the question: Given that the 'quiet atheist' simply goes unnoticed and the bias continues unchanged, have the new outspoken atheists provided a valuable social function by protesting against that bias? I say yes. I'll be the first to admit that it isn't always pretty, but I think it is also necessary.

I have two thoughts about this: one regards your premise, and one is more of a response to your question.

1. There are, of course, biases that unfortunately remain unchanged. But I question your premise that the 'quiet athiest' goes unnoticed. Let me outline a somewhat analogous situation from my own religious experience. As one who worships as part of a large (3k+ persons) and growing Christian community, it is easy for me to fall into the trap of assuming that small congregations with seemingly stagnant numbers and appearance are somehow less effective, even defective, as Christian communities. Yet many of these small fellowships are full of people whose lives are being dramatically transformed by their encounter with Jesus Christ within the context of their small church communities. And these transformed lives affect those surrounding them. In this way, they fulfill (to some extent) their purpose as followers of Christ. In fact, they do much greater service and honor to Christ and his Church than a fair number of prominent Christians whose unkind words and unbridled arrogance paint a twisted picture of Christ.

In a similar way, I have to believe that there are many 'quiet' atheists who haven't made headlines, who haven't written bestsellers, but who still have significant influence over those around them. I have to believe that 100 quiet atheists who take the time to listen to their neighbors and and gently explain their positions will have more of the desired effect than another polarizing bestseller.

But, I think you raise an interesting question...

2. It does appear that idealism won't get you very far in this world, especially the sort of idealism which rejects views different from one's own by more than some amount. I cringe at some of extreme sorts of environmentalism that goes on out there, but I recognize that there are times when I have to look past my qualms and join forces for a time...or even just appreciate that we're working toward the same end.

So, I won't go so far as to agree that your "outspoken atheists" are necessary for the program of atheistic scientism. But they are to be expected and such people do play a role in any movement, even if their means are at times reprehensible.

Edited by Jeff Kolb

So you ladies and you gentlemen, pull your bloomers on...

-Joe Henry

Link to post
Share on other sites
UPDATE: I've received an apology, and a link has been added to the Expelled site. I'm fine with that.

Really? I can find no link.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tactics like... what?
I dunno, calling people who understand the world differently from you "lunatics and idiots" and publicly advocating their firing?

It's wrong to fire teachers for incompetance and violating the constitution?
Separation of church and state, while it's mostly case law, has no relation to anything that happens in most private universities. So who has violated the constitution?
It's wrong to actively take on creationist propaganda?
No, but isn't it mostly incorrect to frame the entire school of I.D. thought as creationist propaganda (even if the film under discussion can be validly framed that way)?

It's as if we're just supposed to gasp and shudder merely because someone dares to have strong opinions that they argue for vigorously, as if that was in and of itself offensive.
Naw. It's mostly offensive because not only is it rude and disrespectful of alternate viewpoints (which in itself isn't wrong, it just makes you an asshole), but because it's a call to stifle debate. PZ Meyers doesn't appear to want to confront I.D. on scientific grounds, ironically enough. He wants to get rid of it altogether.

If that's a poor interpretation of his viewpoint then I apologize, but from what I'm reading that seems to be the issue. Oddly enough this sort of thing is what the film *claimed* to be about, but at the moment it appears to just be stupid and illogical connections between some random theory and some random catastrophe.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I was floored to recently learn of a quote from the former President Bush:

Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are

atheists?

Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is

important to me.

Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of

Americans who are atheists?

Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor

should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional

principle the separation of state and church?

Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very

high on atheists.

!!!!! Atheists shouldn't be considered citizens !!!!!

Comments?

Like Greg, however, I am aware enough to recognize the techniques and the attempts at manipulation. Many persons who saw that film came out believing every word of it. While I agree with much of Moores overall points, I felt he did a disservice to those who look for accuracy in reporting.

The problem inherent in much 'discussion' these days is that each side pulls out the most extreme [apocryphal] example of the opposing side and waves it around while jumping up and down yelling and pointing fingers.

I'm surprised after your defense of clear-headed logic and reason that you would stoop to posting text from an exchange so questionable in nature without anything resembling proof. This has been one of those stories circulating for years without a shred of evidence. It actually reminds me of a conversation I had with Dawkins at London Heathrow a few years ago. I was boarding a flight, and happened to be sitting next to the luminary, so I asked Dawkins what he thought about the fact that I was a Christian.

ME: I'm a Christian. Do you believe that makes me stupid.

DAWKINS: I believe that makes you inhuman. Lower in life form than a flagellum.

The flight was relatively uneventful after that.

"You guys don't really know who you're dealing with."

"Oh yeah, and who exactly are we dealing with?"

"I'm the mother flippin' rhymenoceros."

Link to post
Share on other sites
ME: I'm a Christian. Do you believe that makes me stupid.

DAWKINS: I believe that makes you inhuman. Lower in life form than a flagellum.

This isn't a late April Fools joke, is it? Dawkins really said that? Or are you illustrating a point?

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Link to post
Share on other sites
ME: I'm a Christian. Do you believe that makes me stupid.

DAWKINS: I believe that makes you inhuman. Lower in life form than a flagellum.

This isn't a late April Fools joke, is it? Dawkins really said that? Or are you illustrating a point?

Sorry, I thought it was clear enough that I was just co-opting the form from the argument that Jim had made. A recollection of a supposed conversation used as ad hominem with no regard for the validity or lack thereof of the conversation. I wouldn't recognize Dawkins if he were passing the eucharist at mass.

My humor tends to be on the dry side.

Edited by popechild

"You guys don't really know who you're dealing with."

"Oh yeah, and who exactly are we dealing with?"

"I'm the mother flippin' rhymenoceros."

Link to post
Share on other sites

The post reminds me of a conversation I had with Pol Pot prior to the Khmer Rouge takeover in Cambodia.

Me: I think that you've got some really good earth here for orchid production that would help bring economic benefit to the people of Cambodia.

Pol Pot Hey, that's not a bad idea. But I've got a better one. Since I'm an atheist and a Communist who thinks Mao was too soft, I'll just kill people instead.

No kidding! I bought a plane ticket home the next morning.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Buckeye: When they heck were you in Cambodia? And talking to Pol Pot?!

I can vouch for it. I met Buckeye (they called him "Chairman Buckeye" in Phnom Penh in those days, primarily because of his status as Mao's most trusted adviser) at a Pol Potluck dinner at the Royal Palace. As I recall, the Chow Fun was particularly good that evening. Of course, Mao was there as well, showing off his new military uniform, as he was wont to do.

But I primarily recall the evening because of the remarkable conversation I had with Mao:

Me: So, just think about all those people and how much they can contribute to the global economy.

Mao: Sure, but because I'm a godless, atheistic pagan, I think I'll systematically eradicate about 30 million of them instead.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did some research on the alleged Bush quote. Google it yourself, if you want.

The only two sources cited are Free Inquiry and the Boulder Daily Camera; a search of the latter's archives comes up empty on that exchange, and I have a call in with the paper's editorial staff to try to confirm that it actually ran there.

The quote originated with an atheist journalist and was propagated by O'Hair. SourceWatch includes a note that the quote is cited on both pro- and anti-atheist sites, and as a citation for the latter includes a link to the parody site Landover Baptist.

If it ducks like a quack, it's probably a quack.

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, I just remembered that my own interview with Expelled co-writer Kevin Miller went up here some time ago.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great.

Who can you trust to clear things up? Ted Baehr!

Meanwhile, elsewhere...

Earlier I wrote:

UPDATE: I've received an apology, and a link has been added to the Expelled site. I'm fine with that.

And then Darrel said:

Really? I can find no link.

blink

blink

Uh. . . hmmm. Interesting. They sent me an apology, and said they'd fix it. Not yet, eh? Hmm. Time for me to knocking on some doors.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is the question: Given that the 'quiet atheist' simply goes unnoticed and the bias continues unchanged, have the new outspoken atheists provided a valuable social function by protesting against that bias? I say yes. I'll be the first to admit that it isn't always pretty, but I think it is also necessary.

<snip>

I have to believe that 100 quiet atheists who take the time to listen to their neighbors and and gently explain their positions will have more of the desired effect than another polarizing bestseller.

But, I think you raise an interesting question...

2. It does appear that idealism won't get you very far in this world, especially the sort of idealism which rejects views different from one's own by more than some amount. I cringe at some of extreme sorts of environmentalism that goes on out there, but I recognize that there are times when I have to look past my qualms and join forces for a time...or even just appreciate that we're working toward the same end.

So, I won't go so far as to agree that your "outspoken atheists" are necessary for the program of atheistic scientism. But they are to be expected and such people do play a role in any movement, even if their means are at times reprehensible.

Jeff Kolb,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I think you have something on the '100 quiet atheists' comments. My concern is due to some of the vitriolic commentary I've seen recently and in the past (not on this site, mind you) indicate a tendency for atheists to 'lay low' rather than risk the equivalent of an 'outing'. It would be interesting to see if your christian group would interact peacably and openly with a similarly grounded atheist/agnostic group, all else being equal. Any hope for a peacful open society may depend on just such an interaction.

I agree with your commentary #2 in its entirety.

You do not realize enough that your attention is your only chance. Without it you can do nothing. -
Jeanne de Salzmann

Link to post
Share on other sites
I was floored to recently learn of a quote from the former President Bush:

Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are

atheists?

Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is

important to me.

Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of

Americans who are atheists?

Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor

should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional

principle the separation of state and church?

Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very

high on atheists.

!!!!! Atheists shouldn't be considered citizens !!!!!

Comments?

I'm surprised after your defense of clear-headed logic and reason that you would stoop to posting text from an exchange so questionable in nature without anything resembling proof. This has been one of those stories circulating for years without a shred of evidence. It actually reminds me of a conversation I had with Dawkins at London Heathrow a few years ago. I was boarding a flight, and happened to be sitting next to the luminary, so I asked Dawkins what he thought about the fact that I was a Christian.

ME: I'm a Christian. Do you believe that makes me stupid.

DAWKINS: I believe that makes you inhuman. Lower in life form than a flagellum.

The flight was relatively uneventful after that.

Popechild,

No stooping involved. There are several avenues availble to verify questionable quotes and urban legends. My first stop is always snopes.com, but they came up blank on this one. As Greg noted, Google can provide good sources as well. When I searched, I came up with more profitable results than Greg did, though I consider Free Inquiry a pretty reliable source (I am a subscriber along with their sister publication Skeptical Inquirer). When in doubt, go direct to the source:

http://www.robsherman.com/information/libe...s/2004/0204.htm

The page has not been updated since that post, but the record of the Bush administration releasing anything is not a particularly good one, so the delay from the Freedom Of Information Act side does not raise much of a flag for me. Besides, who better to verify the quote than the original guy? While few things are absolute, I give this source a very high reliability quotient, certainly enough to feel reasonably comfortable repeating the quote here. It will be interesting to see what Greg's sources turn up.

The veracity of the quote is secondary to the question, however. Do you have any thoughts on that measure as Jeff Kolb did?

You do not realize enough that your attention is your only chance. Without it you can do nothing. -
Jeanne de Salzmann

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone else see the allegations of planted questions at the Q&A? http://www.newscientist.com/blog/shortshar...g-silenced.html

I shot my hand up to ask a question. "The intelligent design movement has gone to great lengths to argue that intelligent design is not religion, that it's science. And you made a whole film arguing that it is religious. How do they react to that?"

"Well," Mathis said, "I guess it makes them a little uncomfortable."

Some arguing ensued concerning the scientific merits of ID, and someone asked, "Where's the evidence? Where are the peer reviewed papers?" to which Mathis proudly proclaimed, "Actually, there are ten peer reviewed papers."

A guy in the front row scoffed. "Ten papers?" he asked sarcastically.

Mathis told the guy not to interrupt, and then mockingly called him "Mr Darwinist." Zing!

He began calling on others in the crowd, who asked friendlier questions. But Maggie and I quickly realised that we'd seen some of these people before - earlier that evening, in fact, working at the movie's registration table. These friendly audience members worked for the film? Had Mathis planted questioners?

People asked what they could do to help the film succeed, and a young woman in the front row inquired: "How can I pray for you and for the movie?" Mathis grew excited. "We need to start a grass roots movement!" he said, encouraging people to tell their "networks" about the movie and to get as many people as they could to go on opening weekend.

Edited by Holy Moly!
Link to post
Share on other sites
While few things are absolute, I give this source a very high reliability quotient

Why, exactly? That post hasn't been updated since 2004, and I'd sure think it would have if the FOI Act request had yielded corroboration.

A story that inflammatory would surely have been carried by CNN or MSNBC if there were corroboration or confidence in the source, wouldn't it? I can't even find a site carrying a denial of it, or a right-wing site quoting it.

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...