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Peter T Chattaway

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

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I'm not a journalist: I can come to conclusions. If you have a different standard related to your profession, then I accept that, and retract and apologize for the "but apparently Greg wants us to believe..." rhetoric. But different standards in different contexts still not a good reason to attack my judgment.

You've got a very good point here, Bad. You're absolutely right that there is a vast difference between what I am about as a "journalist" editor (and do quite imperfectly at that), what blogs are about (infotaintment, perhaps?), and what forums are about (cyber reality programming?).

So what I'm recoiling against over the Expelled fracas (even overreacting, I suppose, and in a biased way) are three things:

1. The generally inflammatory nature of blogs, and the specifically inflammatory and one-sidedly unhelpful nature of what's happening in the blogosphere in reaction against the movie. There are a lot of good facts (and opinion) on the blogs that will never get read because of the tone of the blogs and the equally misleading rhetoric that often overwhelm them.

2. What I see as a double standard. Theatrical-release documentaries are also not journalism. So in the same way that I shouldn't have overly-high expectations for the blogs, the blogs shouldn't hold Expelled up to equally unreasonable expectations. (No need to reply to this point, btw. I know there's deep disagreement on that score, and that's fine.) My mistake has been ratcheting up my own rhetoric about the blogs, which directly undermines what I've been saying about the nature of theatrical documentaries. So I cede the field on this point, and withdraw with apologies!

3. What seems to me as personal attacks. At the very core (and this is strictly opinion) is an apparent grudge match between Mathis and Myers. I think it's silly, and I overreact when I think I see pigpiling by third parties. I have decidely overreacted with you on that score, and deeply apologize.

Mea culpa.

Beyond that, just a few notes and further apologies/clarifications:

You probably have a far better chance of getting straight answers from the producers than I do: or at the very least, you have a lot more access to them then I do. So nail down the facts you need to sufficiently say one way or the other. What better way to show how hasty my conclusions are than with making an actual convincing counterargument with some new contradicting facts, rather than merely attacking me for having already concluded something based on what we have so far?

Fair enough. And I've been very frustrated by the fact that details which should be forthcoming for the press have not been made available to us for a variety of reasons. I'm also privy to a lot of off-the-record stuff that helps me a lot in understanding what's going on, but doesn't help others a whit because I can't publish it. So I rather imagine that my frustration over that has resulted in some over-strenuous objections on my part as well. And none of that's your fault, either. So again, my apologies on that score.

We don't need to simply "presume" that someone is lying to build a case that they have been deceptive based on what they've said vs. relevant facts.

Of course we don't; and I didn't even suggest that, much less say it.

Now this is sort of confusing.

It should be -- I misread what you typed! So you're right: it does seem to me that when it comes to Mathis, you've got a "guilty until proven innocent approach." You reply that you don't, and look at the facts in each case before drawing that conclusion. So I've raised my concern, and you've responded to it. That works for me.

"I never find" would imply that you've looked.

Only to someone who presupposed that I've never looked. Don't you see how you leap from presumption to conclusion?

Again I misread what you typed -- and this time more egregiously so, given how I replied! All I can say on that one is: grotesquely sorry!

I agree that such disdain is irrelevant to the soundness of judgment of specific situations, and its not to be encouraged or overused because it can indeed cloud ones judgment.

Thank you for seeing my point on that score, despite the fact that I buried it in the middle of a bunch of misunderstanding! Had you been preternaturally inclined to disdain, I think you would have blown me off entirely! Thanks for your patience with me.

To clarify (and summarize my response to your remaining points): I'm not expecting you to be accountable for what other people say on their blogs. The examples I cited were things that are widely circulated enough that I took it for granted that you were previously aware of them -- and that was a rash assumption on my part. My point, I guess, is that I would like to tell you what your blog ought to cover -- and that's not my right. So this is undoubtedly an exponent of my three issues above, and unreasonable. Sorry once more.

And one last apology: I think I've also unfairly presumed that you are familiar with my own work simply because you've left a comment or two over at HJ. I should not have presumed that, as a consequence, you've been tracking my editorials and news items over there -- in particular, they might just bore the heck out of you!

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XVIVO sues the filmmakers for copyright infringement (re: the film's use of the 'Inner Life of a Cell' video).

David Bolinsky of XVIVO on the "plagiarism" ... except that, as PZ Myers notes, the animation in Expelled is a "copy" of XVIVO's animation only in the sense that someone created a brand-new cartoon that imitates XVIVO's cartoon in pretty much every detail. In other words, the Expelled producers did not splice the XVIVO cartoon into their movie, so there is no copyright infringement, per se ... not unless it is possible to sue someone for copying your IDEAS, etc. (I'm vaguely recalling how George Lucas sued the makers of Battlestar Galactica...)

Meanwhile, William Dembski notes: "It was a nice touch on the producer

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XVIVO sues the filmmakers for copyright infringement (re: the film's use of the 'Inner Life of a Cell' video).

David Bolinsky of XVIVO on the "plagiarism" ... except that, as PZ Myers notes, the animation in Expelled is a "copy" of XVIVO's animation only in the sense that someone created a brand-new cartoon that imitates XVIVO's cartoon in pretty much every detail. In other words, the Expelled producers did not splice the XVIVO cartoon into their movie, so there is no copyright infringement, per se ... not unless it is possible to sue someone for copying your IDEAS, etc. (I'm vaguely recalling how George Lucas sued the makers of Battlestar Galactica...)

I'm no legal expert, but it was my understanding that things like shot for shot copies of something could fall under the category of a derivative work.

Regardless of the legal implications, it's simply pretty nasty to take someone else's work (which from Bolinsky's account was no simple matter, and was a pioneering effort in CGI representations), copy it nearly exactly, and then present it as your own. Will the film at least credit XVIVO?

Wes Elsberry has pointed out an interview in which Stein seems to think that the producers had produced their own cell video at a time even prior to Demsbki getting busted using the Harvard video, which strongly implies that they were in fact using the XVIVO video back then (and that Stein then and now thinks they are all the same video, and all produced by Premise), since it's pretty hard to imagine that they commissioned their own CGI prior to the legal problems with the creditless clip (which had been making the rounds amongst creationists for a while), let alone that the one they commissioned coincidentally picks the same angles, exact protein structures, exact complicating factors removed, etc.

Mr. Stein became involved with the film when he was approached by Messrs. Ruloff and Sullivan during pre-production. “They sent me an absolute torrent of information, some of which I read, some of which frankly I did not read,” Mr. Stein said. Intrigued by what he did absorb and by a segment of computer animation commissioned by the producers that depicts life at a cellular level in its nearly infinite complexity, Mr. Stein signed on. “It just became a gigantically bigger project than I even had the slightest clue it was going to be,” he said.

The same interview, by the way, gives a radically different account of the early production of the film than the "Crossroads" story:

WORLD: How did you get involved with Expelled?

STEIN: I was approached
a couple of years ago by the producers
, and they described to me
the central issue of Expelled
, which was
about Darwinism and why it has such a lock on the academic establishment when the theory has so many holes
. And why freedom of speech has been lost at so many colleges to the point where you can’t question even the slightest bit of Darwinism or your colleagues will spurn you, you’ll lose your job, and you’ll be publicly humiliated.
As they sent me books and talked to me about these things I became more enthusiastic about participating
.

Plus I was never a big fan of Darwinism because it played such a large part in the Nazis’ Final Solution to their so-called “Jewish problem” and was so clearly instrumental in their rationalizing of the Holocaust. So I was primed to want to do a project on how Darwinism relates to fascism and to outline the flaws in Darwinism generally.

(emphasis Elsberry's)

This is a little hard to square with the thesis of the film supposedly evolving organically over time from what Mathis described to scientists as what the "Crossroads" film was all about. By Stein's account, pretty much the exact position staked out in the film was already decided "years ago."

For comparison, here's the producers on how they claim things happened from their lerring "ha ha" blog post from last September:

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.
Edited by BadIdea

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On XVIVO: their claim of infringement (in its own words) is based on the content of the promotional DVD distributed at screenings, not the footage in the film itself. It remains to be seen whether the claim has legal merit; and my recollection is that the sequence in the final cut is radically different from the promo piece.

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BadIdea wrote:

: I'm no legal expert, but it was my understanding that things like shot for shot copies of something could fall under the category of a derivative work.

That's possible, I suppose, though I'd assume there is at least some leeway for parodies and homages, etc.

Interestingly, when it comes to music, as I understand it, any recording artist is allowed to cover any tune that they want to, but if a song is going to appear in a MOVIE, the filmmakers have to get permission from BOTH the performer AND the writer. So in this case, the producers wanted to use a string-quartet-ish cover of a certain famous rock song, and it turned out that the person who wrote the song doesn't really approve of ANYBODY'S covers of that song, but there's nothing he can do about it when the song is merely covered on other people's CDs; it is only when his song, or the covers thereof, are used in movies that he has any veto power, and so, in cases like this, veto it he did. That is what I was told yesterday, at any rate.

: Will the film at least credit XVIVO?

I don't believe it does; I was checking the end credits yesterday to see who got credit for the animation, and it wasn't them. This was before I came across the items that I just linked to.

Greg Wright wrote:

: On XVIVO: their claim of infringement (in its own words) is based on the content of the promotional DVD distributed at screenings, not the footage in the film itself.

FWIW, PZ Myers says he got his screen capture of the Expelled animation from the promotional DVD, and it IS different from the animation that XVIVO produced (though it is clearly imitative).

: It remains to be seen whether the claim has legal merit; and my recollection is that the sequence in the final cut is radically different from the promo piece.

Well, the screen capture at Myers' blog seems similar enough to what I remember seeing yesterday, but since I didn't see Myers' blog post until this morning, I was not looking for that particular shot when I saw the film yesterday.

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That's possible, I suppose, though I'd assume there is at least some leeway for parodies and homages, etc.

I really don't know. I'm not a huge fan of copyright law per se, and I don't think this lawsuit, even if it has merit, would accomplish much more than giving the producers yet another misleading claim about supression to harp on. But I can certainly understand the anger felt but someone who works really hard to create something, only to have it taken, copied, and reappropriated for something else, especially when you feel the usage is to mislead people about the very things you were trying to illusrtate.

: On XVIVO: their claim of infringement (in its own words) is based on the content of the promotional DVD distributed at screenings, not the footage in the film itself.

Yes, this is simply not clear at this point. I think the key recognizable sequence is the "walking" protein and whether this is similar or not.

All I've seen so far are the original video, and then stills of a copy which looks almost identical... except that it's a different color. If the print copy of the film has a substantially structually different version, then this would be the third version I've heard of. Harvard/XVIVO only made the original, so if the version in the final film is neither the original nor the near copy, where did the near copy come from?

And why did Stein think that the producers had already created their own version way back when, which presumably would then be the commissioned version supposedly in the film now?

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You're absolutely right that there is a vast difference between what I am about as a "journalist" editor (and do quite imperfectly at that), what blogs are about (infotaintment, perhaps?),

Now now. :) I think blogs can do a lot of very important things that standard journalism cannot. You recoil from their heated and opinionated tone. And that's fine, of course. But I also think that misses some of the point: blogs as a whole can provide a far fuller and better represented debate than the confines journalism, which despite the idea that it is objective, has some serious weaknesses on that score (namely, the way objectivity is approached often makes it extremely easy to spin and mislead people simply by inventing "another side" to any claim, and then not having the time or the space to present the merits of all these different cases).

The key though, is that no one blog on its own does that job. Think of journalism as a sort of philosopher-king approach to knowledge: one person or entity trying to sort out things from above. Blogs, in contrast, are more like classical liberalism/democracy/liberal scientific method: the truth is something that's worked out in the neverending process of debate, judged on the power of the argument, evidence, and criticism that everyone collectively brings to bear. The very fact that people are opinionated is what gets them to insights, connections, facts, and opinions that you can't get from classical journalism. Both have their places.

2. What I see as a double standard. Theatrical-release documentaries are also not journalism. So in the same way that I shouldn't have overly-high expectations for the blogs, the blogs shouldn't hold Expelled up to equally unreasonable expectations. (No need to reply to this point, btw. I know there's deep disagreement on that score, and that's fine.)

Ah well, I'm a sucker to reply then. :) Because I think the point is that for many sciencebloggers, who have been dealing with creationist claims and political and legal efforts for a long while, we don't think of this controversy as merely reviewing a film. We see it as the producers see it: an argument and a promotional vehicle being used to push their claims in a much wider debate, both culturally and politically. It's no accident that so many states are working on "academic freedom" bills that just so happen to parrot the basic line of the film... or that Stein and the producers are right there both promoting these efforts and celebrating the effect they are having.

So: unreasonable expectations? I don't think that fits. We see the film in the same way the producers do: as an argument. And we're responding to it.

3. What seems to me as personal attacks. At the very core (and this is strictly opinion) is an apparent grudge match between Mathis and Myers. I think it's silly, and I overreact when I think I see pigpiling by third parties. I have decidely overreacted with you on that score, and deeply apologize.

They do seem to to detest each other, it's true. But then, Myers never pretended to like the person that Mathis turned out to be. :) But this is most certainly far wider than that. The grudges and bitterness of this film aren't simply Mathis vs. Myers: it's the entire creationism vs. evolution battle, including all sorts of personal battles and histories and PR wars going back decades, even more than century (in fact, the claims of this film are not only not new, but people have been predicting the imminent demise of evolution nearly since Darwin first published).

Fair enough. And I've been very frustrated by the fact that details which should be forthcoming for the press have not been made available to us for a variety of reasons. I'm also privy to a lot of off-the-record stuff that helps me a lot in understanding what's going on, but doesn't help others a whit because I can't publish it. So I rather imagine that my frustration over that has resulted in some over-strenuous objections on my part as well. And none of that's your fault, either. So again, my apologies on that score.

That's an unfortunate situation, to be sure. But why would a movie have or need so much that's off-the-record? As much of a firebrand as, say, PZ Myers is, it's hard to imagine anything being "off the record" with him. Or with any of the other scientists on the other side of this debate.

It should be -- I misread what you typed! So you're right: it does seem to me that when it comes to Mathis, you've got a "guilty until proven innocent approach." You reply that you don't, and look at the facts in each case before drawing that conclusion. So I've raised my concern, and you've responded to it. That works for me.

Fair enough. Again, I think it's important to repeat my basic philosophy, which is that we present ideas out in the open in part precisely because that allows other people to shoot them down. No one is truly unbiased, but collectively, people do a pretty good job of weeding out bad ideas over time. It's fair enough to think that my judgments are fatally corrupted by my biases: but of course, we only really find that out when we get down and really hash out the details and see if the biases really did lead to significant error, and then seeing what's left if we correct it.

I admit that I'm pretty unsympathetic, not just to the arguments that Mathis makes, but to him for making those arguments. That's because I have a long history of seeing those arguments, and being very unhappy with how misleading they are, and then frustrated by the seeming immunity they have to criticism. As I've written, there is like, more than a decade worth of debate in the ID/evolution area. Those debates have involved arguments, counter arguments, counter counter arguments, and so on. That debate has to some degree progressed. Mathis and his crew however, present the issue anew as if there weren't already very strong criticisms and problems with the points they are making: in many cases they have Mathis and Stein out there claiming things that have been about as shot down and debunked as anything can be, to the point where many on his own side of the issue no longer claim them anymore. And the position that, say Francis Collins is inscinere, or Ken Miller isn't a real Catholic. I agree: I have a hard time hearing that and not having an unfavorable opinion of someone. Whether that blinds me to the possibility that they are making fair points, and I'm making unfair ones: well, I leave that to the outcome of specific debate on those charges.

As a side note, I'm not 100% unsympathetic to Mathis' profession. I worked on political campaigns, and the core idea is to keep promoting the same simply message over and over: the same key ideas, the same framing of the issue. Don't let people get you off message. It's simply what works. But I never respected the fact that this was a necessary evil in politics (even for things that I strongly supported). Unfortunately, when you put modern journalism together with a public that really doesn't hear, read, or ingest much more than soundbytes, that's the system you end up with: a sort of prisoner's dilemna of politics. No one on any side of an issue wants it to be that way. It's just what turns out to work time and time again, even with people that say they dislike it.

Thank you for seeing my point on that score, despite the fact that I buried it in the middle of a bunch of misunderstanding! Had you been preternaturally inclined to disdain, I think you would have blown me off entirely! Thanks for your patience with me.

Come on, now you're overcompensating and making me feel embarrased. :)

To clarify (and summarize my response to your remaining points): I'm not expecting you to be accountable for what other people say on their blogs. The examples I cited were things that are widely circulated enough that I took it for granted that you were previously aware of them -- and that was a rash assumption on my part. My point, I guess, is that I would like to tell you what your blog ought to cover -- and that's not my right. So this is undoubtedly an exponent of my three issues above, and unreasonable. Sorry once more.

There's honestly way too much to read and comment on reall. If I miss a days worth of posting somewhere, I can potentially miss huge chunks of things. I do still invite you, if you're interested, to note a bunch of myths and falsehoods you think anti-Expelled folks have glommed onto like this: it'd be a little minor to post just about the MacNeill issue alone, but that along with some others could be a worthwhile thing for me to research and post about, and get a significant number of folks on my side of the fence to listen to.

And one last apology: I think I've also unfairly presumed that you are familiar with my own work simply because you've left a comment or two over at HJ. I should not have presumed that, as a consequence, you've been tracking my editorials and news items over there -- in particular, they might just bore the heck out of you!

Not at all. I don't know what I've missed of what you posted, but I certainly have been checking in from time to time. Albiet, I'm probably pretty late to the party: I only ever was even aware of HJ until a while after I first posted here.

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Interestingly, BoxOfficeMojo.com does not have a single listing for Expelled in its database yet. That's remarkable, considering the film comes out in five days and there are ads for it all over the web, etc.

Anyway, the people behind this film are promising that it will open in over 1,000 theatres (none of them in Canada, apparently, despite the fact that it's a Canadian production), so, just for the record:

The widest opening for any documentary seems to be the 868 theatres in which Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) debuted, before it expanded to 2,011 theatres. The widest release of any documentary, period, was that of March of the Penguins (2005), which opened in 4 theatres June 24 and gradually expanded and expanded until it was playing in 2,506 theatres September 2. And as far as grosses go, the top ten earners are:

  1. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) -- $119.2 million
  2. March of the Penguins (2005) -- $77.4 million
  3. Sicko (2007) -- $24.5 million
  4. An Inconvenient Truth (2006) -- $24.2 million
  5. Bowling for Columbine (2002) -- $21.6 million
  6. Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991) -- $15 million
  7. Winged Migration (2003) -- $11.7 million
  8. Super Size Me (2004) -- $11.5 million
  9. Mad Hot Ballroom (2005) -- $8.1 million
  10. Hoop Dreams (1994) -- $7.8 million
Meanwhile, turning to evangelical movies (I'm leaving mainstream and Mormon films off BOM's list) ... only three films have played on over 1,000 screens so far, namely End of the Spear and the two VeggieTales movies ... and, box-office-wise, the top ten are:
  1. Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002) -- $25.6 million
  2. One Night with the King (2006) -- $13.4 million
  3. The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (2008) -- $12.7 million
  4. The Omega Code (1999) -- $12.6 million
  5. End of the Spear (2006) -- $12 million
  6. Facing the Giants (2006) -- $10.2 million
  7. Megiddo: The Omega Code II (2001) -- $6 million
  8. Luther (2003) -- $5.8 million
  9. Left Behind (2001) -- $4.2 million
  10. China Cry: A True Story (1990) -- $4.2 million
I haven't a clue whether Expelled will come anywhere close to the top ten in either category. But, given the reportedly wide release, comparisons of some sort seem warranted.

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Hey, Peter. My speculation about theater count yesterday was that the producers' 1000+ screen estimate includes screens that have been rented by private parties... so I expect that the official screen count is going to be considerably lower than 1000. (My article also comments on Sean P. Means report about the film not being screened for critics, one of your favorite topics!)

In other news, the audio of the March 28th call that Myers crashed is finally available.

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There's a press screening here in D.C. this afternoon. I'm invited because I'm a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Association, but I'm not attending because I have to be at work.

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Greg Wright wrote:

: (My article also comments on Sean P. Means report about the film not being screened for critics, one of your favorite topics!)

Well, just for the record, I was leery of posting anything to that effect on my blog because the pattern this film has been following seems analogous to the pattern that was set by The Passion of the Christ -- namely, show the film to lots of "grassroots" and church-based types, but don't formally invite any actual press to those screenings, however if occasional reporters sneak into the screenings you might see reviews anyway, and in any case there would probably be a formal press screening for the media at the very last minute. And sure enough, that appears to be what the marketing team has done: Just as The Passion was screened for secular media maybe a week before it opened, so too Expelled is being screened for the media only a few days in advance. So, they DID screen it for critics after all. Meanwhile, the Christian film critics who have been trying to see the film have had difficulty doing so, because they are not "grassroots" enough.

(Back in the days before CT Movies existed, Jeff used to write the bulk of the magazine's film reviews, but it was I rather than Jeff who wrote the CT review of The Passion because Jeff had been unable to see the film, whereas I happened to have seen it at a "ministry" screening here in Vancouver -- and IIRC, Jeff posted something at Barb Nicolosi's blog, pointing out how the Passion marketing team had been going after church groups left right and centre while mysteriously avoiding people like him who actually WROTE about film for high-profile Christian publications. Fortunately, I was able to get a special screening of Expelled just for myself, so that I can review it for CT, but I suspect it might not have come to pass if it weren't for the fact that I live in the same city as the filmmakers, and so a copy of the film just happened to be at the local Technicolor lab.)

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I called and e-mailed the press contact listed at the film's Web site. I know her name; I may have worked with her in 2001-2002, during my full-time stint at Crosswalk. I explained who I was and thought they'd peg me as a potentially friendly reviewer, although that would be dictated by the film's quality. I figured I'd get a callback, or an e-mail reply.

Nothing.

That's pretty astonishing. Were it a big studio or something, I could see the snubbing, but for this film? Huh.

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Christian: I'd suspect that it's your qualifier ("although that would be dictated by the film's quality") that would disqualify you. Does that sound cynical? I expect that they want reviewers who are "on board".

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Christian: I'd suspect that it's your qualifier ("although that would be dictated by the film's quality") that would disqualify you. Does that sound cynical? I expect that they want reviewers who are "on board".

I suppose so, although they don't know about the qualifier. I just would've thought that their outreach to churches would spill over to the Christian press. Peter and, I think, Greg have had screenings, but I wasn't able to line one up.

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Actually, the only reason I got into see the movie was because Kevin Miller (the screenwriter) bird-dogged it for me. He used to write for HJ, and when it became clear Motive wasn't going to do anything for us (even though they placed three months worth of ads for the flick on the site), I called him up and asked if he could do something. He got in touch with the right people, and I barely managed to get on the pass list -- with about 60 minutes to spare -- for an invitational screening for DI supporters.

Getting anything out of Motive has been like pulling teeth.

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Greg Wright wrote:

: Getting anything out of Motive has been like pulling teeth.

No kidding. I think that's the same outfit that promised me a certain DVD or two -- multiple times -- but I still haven't seen any copies. Pathetic.

And come to think of it, I might not have been able to arrange my own screening of Expelled if it hadn't been for the fact that I finally remembered I had one of the producers' phone numbers in my cell phone directory. Things began to click shortly after I phoned him directly and left him a message. Dealing with Motive was getting us nowhere.

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Barbara Nicolosi gives Expelled straight A's here.

.

"I give it the full, coveted COTM blessing"

She's starting to sound a bit like Baehr (who rates it "Exemplary")

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This is getting shameless. The Expelled site now links to this article, with the teaser: Why was Pope Benedict EXPELLED at La Sapienza University? A small group of professors and students protested the views of the world

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This is getting shameless. The Expelled site now links to this article, with the teaser: Why was Pope Benedict EXPELLED at La Sapienza University? A small group of professors and students protested the views of the world

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You're insinuating that "creationist" and "believing in evolution" are mutually exclusive. Maybe they are from a strictly semantic standpoint - I'm not involved enough in the arena to know if people who believe that God created the world, using processes of evolution, are allowed to be called "creationists" or not. But this is the camp Benedict falls in, from what I can tell.

That's the camp I fall in, too (we like to use the term theistic evolutionist for clarity's sake). But I don't have to insinuate anything. Mark Mathis himself argued in that SciAm podcast that belief in god and belief in evolution are essentially discrete categories.

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Holy Moly! wrote:

: That's the camp I fall in, too (we like to use the term theistic evolutionist for clarity's sake).

Actually, some of "we" prefer the term "evolutionary creationist" for clarity's sake. It keeps the priorities straight. We believe in a creator, and we happen to believe that evolutionary processes were among the means that he used -- as opposed to believing in evolution, and tacking on a belief in God.

Meanwhile, there seems to be a controversy over the film's use of certain pop songs (has Yoko Ono "sold out" by letting John Lennon's 'Imagine' appear on the soundtrack!?). The thing is, I actually discussed this with the post-production guy who hosted the screening that I attended, and he said that filmmakers are allowed to use something like 14 seconds of any given pop song under the terms of fair use, or fair comment, PROVIDED that they are clearly COMMENTING on the song and not simply using it as background music. So the snippet of 'Imagine' that appears in the film is very brief, and just to make sure there's no missing the fact that the film is commenting on the contents of the song, the lyrics from that snippet are printed on the screen as subtitles. So, bottom line, Yoko Ono probably didn't have any say in this whatsoever.

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Greg, forgive me if I missed it (I don't want to re-read this whole headache-inducing thread), but when and where will your full review of the film be published? I can't wait.

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