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4/16/08

New 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed' Trailer

The following is a recent trailer for the upcoming documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which is open in cinemas this Friday:

In related news, the producers of the movie, Premise Media, were accused by XVIVO of ripping off the Harvard 'Inner Life of the Cell' animation. XVIVO later backed down, and now Premise Media has filed a lawsuit to have it declared that there is no copyright infringement, and seeking costs for the attorneys involved.

54 comments:

  1. .

    I bought ticket already. A few friends and I are seeing it Friday and then going out for some wine to talk about it.

    Fun fun!

    .

    ReplyDelete
  2. The lawsuit was stunning in its irony. What a self-parody! Maybe the producers will add something about that to the bonus features of the DVD.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I REALLY HATE! Richard Dawkins voice.

    He always seems so scared when someone might mention the possibility of God. Did you see his reaction when Ben asked when did it all being?LOL.Man oh man.LOL.

    But anyway, hope I can see it soon. I really wished they put this out when Bill Maher puts out his movie.

    ReplyDelete
  4. FIrst off, want to say that I love the new digs, and look forward to many interesting articles.

    That said, I really don't understand why so many otherwise reasonable people are pushing this "Expelled" movie, as if it exposes some heretofore unrecognized conspiracy to squash Intelligent Design from the science labs of schools and Universities. It should be patently obvious by now that this is not a new phenomenon, since Intelligent Design is not science, and should not be taught as such.

    From what I've seen so far of the movie, it spends a lot of time interviewing atheistic scientists like Dawkins, and cornering them on the question of the origins of life, and how it relates to Darwinian Evolution. Then, when they can't answer the question, the movie proclaims, "AHA!", as if they've exposed some dirty little secret. But since Darwinian Evolution is merely the model of how life evolves, not how it came to be (the pre-existence of life on earth is considered axiomatic in the Darwinian model and hypotheses such as abiogenesis or panspermia are not rightly part of Darwinian Evolution), there should be no surprise that the scientists interviewed for "Expelled" seem a little perplexed by the question.

    Does "Expelled" move Intelligent Design into any new territory? Does it provide any scientific evidence, or is it just more of the same negative argumentation against Evolution?

    Michael

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  5. Expelled, isn't that the movie about critics being expelled, that expelled critics? And that chose to hide itself from movie critics?

    Apart from that: what does this movie essentially have to do with atheism? Could someone please inform me how promoting 'Expelled' will aid in this blog's 'goal to promote intellectual responsability and to counteract the fallacious and manipulative attempts of atheist apologists to revive their failed belief system'?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tax,

    Both of the issues in your links have been responded to already by Expelled staff or others. But congrats for trailing behind the debate.

    As to your question. Dogmatic, closed-minded, and irrational atheist fundamentalists (e.g. PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott) have tried to suppress free thought and open inquiry about the adequacy of Darwinian and materialistic presuppositions. To the extent that Expelled has confronted these irrationalists, the documentary is relevant to the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Will,

    So you don't find it strange or contradictory at all that a movie that is about critics being silenced or expelled, chooses to expel critics itself? In other words: if creationism is criticised, it's perfectly OK that these people are 'expelled'?
    And I don't really care how the Expelled staff thinks about this, I'd like to know how YOU think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I didn't see my comment go through, so I'll try again.

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=six-things-ben-stein-doesnt-want-you-to-know


    This link demonstrates that Stein's movie is a sham.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Scientific America published a critique of the movie, which seems fairly compelling. It is titled: "Six Things in Expelled that Ben Stein Doesn't Want You to Know."

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=six-things-ben-stein-doesnt-want-you-to-know

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm interested in your opinion of the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial and John E. Jones III's (appointed in 2002 by George W. Bush) ruling that ID is not science?

    Do you disagree that it's not science?

    Do you believe science should embrace the supernatural in its methodology? If so how?

    And I'm wondering if this post will make it through.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Will Hawthorne ""To the extent that Expelled has confronted these irrationalists, the documentary is relevant to the blog."
    Expelled did what now? From what I've read, all it does is bring out a few people who have been "expelled" (presenting a, um, unique view of the evidence), then it spends ninety minutes telling us that Darwin lead to Hitler (and Stalin, no less!). I guess they're saving Mao and Pol Pot for the sequel.

    I like how the name of the blog has changed, yet the arguments remain the same. The running in circles is dizzying.

    ReplyDelete
  12. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=six-things-ben-stein-doesnt-want-you-to-know

    An interesting article by Scientific America on the Expelled movie.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Expelled did what now? [Snipped rant]

    Expelled contains face-to-face interviews with all three of the irrationalists I mentioned above. Apparently whatever you've "read" has turned out to be misinformation. But I suppose that won't stop you from accepting it uncritically.

    The ignorance is dizzying.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Will,

    Please read the link I posted and tell us if your perception of Expelled remains unchanged. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Have you somewhere "debunked" this: http://ccannizzaro.com/2007/03/01/

    Or is atheists just smarter end of discussion?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Will wrote: The ignorance is dizzying.

    Dizzying?

    The YouTube video link I submitted (one of many that was censored) showed how Stein was either disingenuous or "dizzying ignorant" regarding evolutionary theory and scientific claims.

    Stien Interviews refuted

    Of course, it's likely this sort of information will be censored until the movie is released tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Will,

    You didn't answer my question, so here it is again:
    Do you personally think there's nothing contradictory, irrational or even hypocritical about the fact that the makers of a movie that's about critics being silenced and/or expelled, engage in expelling those who criticize them? How do you feel about the fact that the makers of the movie try to suppress free thought and open inquiry about the adequacy of Intelligent Design and creationist presuppositions?

    Also: what's your opinion on the fact that the makers of the movie used John Lennon's music without permission? That's stealing, right? Or not?

    Since, by your words, Expelled is relevant to this blog's goal because it 'contains face-to-face interviews with three irrationalists', could you point out where exactly in the movie the 'fallacious and manipulative attempts to revive their failed belief system' are that are used by these 'atheist apologists', and which need to be 'counteracted'?

    Thanks in advance,

    Tax

    ReplyDelete
  18. Will Hawthorne "Expelled contains face-to-face interviews with all three of the irrationalists I mentioned above."
    Eugenie Scott? Obviously! I hear she's crazy: she's always ranting about "evidence" and "facts", and the minor inconvenience that ID avoids those two things, but insists that it should be able to sit at the big-boy table anyway.

    "Apparently whatever you've "read" has turned out to be misinformation. But I suppose that won't stop you from accepting it uncritically."
    Oh, you. You did hear about the process behind those interviews, and post-interview analyses from the interviewees themselves, right?
    I'll see it when it comes around cable, I guess. I'd go see it in theatres, but my atheist church isn't getting free tickets (or reimbursements on ones they purchase).

    "The ignorance is dizzying."
    Buck up, little soldier. Stop being so down on yourself. In only another mumble years, your persistent shilling for IDC will have helped have to improve science, stretching it so that ID's lack of evidence can fit! Then you'll get to learn about astrology in astronomy class, and alchemy in chemistry class! Hurrah! Faith-based science! Woo!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Will said: That said, the approval rate is about 99%. Don't be childish, and avoid being overly disingenuous, and chances are whatever you have to say will be approved.

    Really?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Today's New York Times doesn't seem to like the movie.

    Yes, yes - I know, the NYT is Satan's liberal atheist mouthpiece. Anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Let us grant for a moment that the “Six Things” are accurate, what does that say about the actual arguments made by the scientists? For reasons that I enumerated in my review pro, con or indifferent, this movie should be supported: http://atheismsucks.blogspot.com/2008/03/dawkins-comes-out-as-intelligent-design.html

    The most interesting part of the movie is that the scientists make their authoritarian proclamations and come across as very erudite and compelling until they are simply asked again and again, “How do you know?” at which point they fall apart and demonstrate their worldview’s dogmatism. This is what Prof. Dawkins refers to as being an intellectually satisfied atheist: he can make up materialistic tales about how things occurred and is quite please with himself.

    Moreover, there are still so many basic misunderstandings, on both sides, that these discussions need to be out there. Someone above, Myers and Dawkins refer to Expelled as dealing with “creationism” which is a misnomer. The reason that there are Muslims, Jews, agnostics, Christians, etc. that support ID is that it is NOT “creationism.” The “Six Things” itself makes fallacious claims such as “billions of other people around the world simultaneously accept evolution and keep faith with their religion…the film's major premise that evolutionary biologists all reject God.”
    This is not so: firstly, they do not state, and it is most certainly not the film’s major premise, that ALL reject God. Secondly, I am not even aware of one single human being on the planet that does not believe in evolution.

    And remember kids: “Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” Scott C. Todd (Department of Biology - Kansas State University), “A View from Kansas on that Evolution Debate,” Nature, Vol. 401, Sep. 30, 1999, p. 423

    So, take your non-gender specific bipedal relationship companion by the hand and head on down to the movies. Tell ‘em that Atheism is Dead sent you and you will receive, gratis, a swift kick out the door ;o)

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  22. How weird. I posted a comment and it didn't show up here. Since I can't believe I got censored, it's probably a glitch, so here's my comment again:

    Will, you didn't answer my question, so here it is again:

    Do you personally think there's nothing contradictory, irrational or even hypocritical about the fact that the makers of a movie that's about critics being silenced and/or expelled, engage in expelling those who criticize them? How do you feel about the fact that the makers of the movie try to suppress free thought and open inquiry about the adequacy of Intelligent Design and creationist presuppositions?

    Also: what's your opinion on the fact that the makers of the movie used John Lennon's music without permission? That's stealing, right? Or not?

    Since, by your words, Expelled is relevant to this blog's goal because it 'contains face-to-face interviews with three irrationalists', could you point out where exactly in the movie the 'fallacious and manipulative attempts to revive their failed belief system' are that are used by these 'atheist apologists', and which need to be 'counteracted'.

    Thanks in advance,
    Tax

    (hope this one gets through) :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Mario said:

    "The most interesting part of the movie is that the scientists make their authoritarian proclamations and come across as very erudite and compelling until they are simply asked again and again, “How do you know?” at which point they fall apart and demonstrate their worldview’s dogmatism. "

    What question are you referring to? Evolution?

    Are you implying that evolutionary biologists have no evidence for their claims?




    "The “Six Things” itself makes fallacious claims such as “billions of other people around the world simultaneously accept evolution and keep faith with their religion…the film's major premise that evolutionary biologists all reject God.”


    This is not so: firstly, they do not state, and it is most certainly not the film’s major premise, that ALL reject God. "

    But once again, why did Mark Mathis interview ONLY atheist evolutionists? When asked why Ken Miller was not included in the film, he "explained that his presence would have "confused" viewers."

    Hence the implication is obvious: evolution leads to atheism, or evolution is incompatible with theism.


    "Secondly, I am not even aware of one single human being on the planet that does not believe in evolution."

    They are obviously referring to macro-evolution, which many IDers reject.



    "And remember kids: “Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” Scott C. Todd (Department of Biology - Kansas State University), “A View from Kansas on that Evolution Debate,” Nature, Vol. 401, Sep. 30, 1999, p. 423"


    Well, I would disagree with this. In any case, the outlandish remarks made by some scientists does not mean the case for ID has been made, or that evolution has serious problems.

    ReplyDelete
  24. You should unmoderate comments, having them moderated really stifles the flow of posts and responses as makes people lose interest in your blog because it takes forever to have any dialog.
    Just a suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Mariano
    You keep repeating
    And remember kids: “Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” Scott C. Todd (Department of Biology - Kansas State University), “A View from Kansas on that Evolution Debate,” Nature, Vol. 401, Sep. 30, 1999, p. 423
    Are you trying to imply that this is what all scientists think? What all evolutionary biologists think? What a lot of them think? What one particular guy from Kansas thinks? etc. Will you clarify why you are quoting it please.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Check out this review of Expelled by Jack Cashill. It's pretty good:

    A rousing SRO preview on Tuesday of the new Ben Stein documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, brought a Kansas City audience to its feet.

    And with good cause. Stein’s often funny, always engaging frontal assault on the oppressive neo-Darwinist establishment is arguably the smartest and most sophisticated documentary ever produced on the right side of the cultural divide, on any subject, ever.

    As such, Expelled represents still another blow to the progressive orthodoxy of government-issued science in its winter of discontent... The complete review

    ReplyDelete
  27. For those complaining about "censorship", you need to realize that it takes some time to wade through the comments and approve them (we have "troll" problems on a daily basis). If you don't see your comment right away, just be patient. It will show up, as long as you haven't violated any of the terms in the Comment Moderation Policy.

    Best,

    Will

    ReplyDelete
  28. Stewart,

    You should unmoderate comments, having them moderated really stifles the flow of posts and responses as makes people lose interest in your blog because it takes forever to have any dialog.
    Just a suggestion.


    I agree. However, were readers forced to scroll down through tons of copy/pasted spam from our resident troll, that would be even more inconvenient than having to wait for comment moderation.

    What would really solve it is if Blogger allowed blog owners to block certain users.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Will

    ReplyDelete
  29. No prob, I understand that. You do pretty good at updating, so it's probably a non issue.
    peace

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you all for the great comments and question.
    Overall, no, I am not implying anything to the extreme. I do not believe that “evolutionary biologists have no evidence for their claims” because no one that I know on the planet would argue with much that goes under the term “evolution.” The movie itself will alert you to which questions are pontificated upon with no evince. Even when Michael Shermer authoritatively expresses that he does not believe that people are loosing their jobs due to ID issues he is asked a very simple question, “How do you know?” at which point his façade of skepticism and authoritarianism falls away into admitting that he does not know.
    Surely, we could all come up with ways that the movie could have been better, the marketing could have been different and the disputes handled differently. We are not pushing the perfect movie, we are pushing the exchange of ideas. I could only hope that the quote from Scott C. Todd (Department of Biology - Kansas State University) is a mere example of a fallacious extreme. However, such ideas are not my own nor theists’ in general but are derived from people such as Todd and, for example, Prof. of biology Richard Lewontin:
    “…we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door…” Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” New York Times Book Reviews, Volume 44, Number 1 (January 9, 1997) reviewing Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
    You can tell me that he is wrong and that is fine but the point is that I am not inventing these ideas. Also, I agree that “the outlandish remarks made by some scientists does not mean the case for ID has been made, or that evolution has serious problems” that was not my implication.

    Lastly, we would love to unmoderate comments. Believe me, it is a waste of time. However, this is a case of a few bad apples spoiling it for the bunch. The comments section has sadly been a place for some (very few or perhaps even one) to express racism, wishes that we die while our families watch, and every sort of filth and foul that you would never want to imagine.
    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  31. Mariano:For reasons that I enumerated in my review pro, con or indifferent, this movie should be supported:

    Let's look at part of your review...

    Mariano: But I stated, “No it’s not, [Expelled] is about academia.” It is not about Christianity, it is not about the Bible, it is not about God, except in the eyes of the conspiracy theorists that trace all hints of public acknowledgement of the divine back to a vast rightwing evangelical Christian conspiracy. Strictly speaking, it is not even about science. Science is the backdrop of the movie’s premise but the movie is about the difficulty and academic danger of questioning Darwinism (not “evolution”) and particularly outing yourself as an ID theorist, proponent or even declaring any sort of interest in the topic.

    Here lies the problem with Expelled. You, among other ID proponents, desperately want ID to have merit to validate your faith. However, before ID can have academic merit, it must present evidence that supports it. This evidence must pass peer review and be published in scientific journals. While ID proponents, such as Michael Behe, have claimed specific biological structures are too complex to have evolved (Irreducible Complexity), scientists have refuted every example presented, including the bacterial flagellum.

    Since ID has failed to meet the requirements of science, ID proponents are now trying to confuse free speech with the scientific method. Specifically, Expelled is attempting to confuse the public by trying to blur the line between free speech and academic merit. This is clearly disingenuous.

    Mariano: The most interesting part of the movie is that the scientists make their authoritarian proclamations and come across as very erudite and compelling until they are simply asked again and again, “How do you know?” at which point they fall apart and demonstrate their worldview’s dogmatism. This is what Prof. Dawkins refers to as being an intellectually satisfied atheist: he can make up materialistic tales about how things occurred and is quite please with himself.

    Dawkins does not feel the need posit an entirely new realm of non-natrual existence to explain how life has evolved on our planet since we have a number of natural systems which have been observed as the mechanism behind the evolution of life. This is not a guess, but scientifically verified fact.

    "And remember kids: “Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.”Scott C. Todd (Department of Biology - Kansas State University), “A View from Kansas on that Evolution Debate,” Nature, Vol. 401, Sep. 30, 1999, p. 423"

    If all the data really pointed to an intelligent designer, then this designer would, by definition, become part of nature. Otherwise, there would be no data that supported it. This is how science works.

    Of course, theists would have none of this. God cannot be nature as he would no longer be worthy of worship. Yet they still want God to have scientific merit?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Mariano said:

    "Surely, we could all come up with ways that the movie could have been better, the marketing could have been different and the disputes handled differently. We are not pushing the perfect movie, we are pushing the exchange of ideas."

    oh come on. The "6 things" are pretty serious, if true.

    1) Expelled quotes Charles Darwin selectively to connect his ideas to eugenics and the Holocaust.

    In other words, Darwin was taken very much out of context and the impression the film gives is that he advocates eliminating the weak.

    2) Ben Stein's speech to a crowded auditorium in the film was a setup.

    3) Scientists in the film thought they were being interviewed for a different movie.

    Hence dishonest film making tactics.

    4) The ID-sympathetic researcher whom the film paints as having lost his job at the Smithsonian Institution was never an employee there.

    5) Science does not reject religious or "design-based" explanations because of dogmatic atheism.


    6) Many evolutionary biologists are religious and many religious people accept evolution.

    Once again, why did Mark Mathis interview ONLY atheist evolutionists? When asked why Ken Miller was not included in the film, he "explained that his presence would have "confused" viewers."

    Hence the implication is obvious: evolution leads to atheism, or evolution is incompatible with theism.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Will: Both of the issues in your links have been responded to already by Expelled staff or others. But congrats for trailing behind the debate.

    The list of issues has continued to grow.

    In fact, the National Center for Science Education has created an entire site which lists them in detail.

    Specificly covered, the company behind the film, questionable interview tactics and facts about evolution.

    Also listed were cases of false cancelations and screening time changes being sent to "undesirables" who had RSVPed through public channels.

    Perhaps you'd like to comment on these issues as well?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Here's a review of the movie by Michael Shermer.

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=ben-steins-expelled-review-michael-shermer

    ReplyDelete
  35. radical_logic, spencer, mariano: to post links,
    Xa href="website address"Ydisplay nameX/aY (replace the Xs with < and the Ys with >), and it'll appear like majik! Voila: Scientific American: Six things Ben Stein doesnt want you to know.

    ...
    4simpsons; shame on that link. Naughty, naughty boy. Tsk, tsk. Etc.

    mariano "Even when Michael Shermer authoritatively expresses that he does not believe that people are loosing their jobs due to ID issues he is asked a very simple question, “How do you know?” at which point his façade of skepticism and authoritarianism falls away into admitting that he does not know."
    Does not know absolutely? Yes. However the (general) lack of evidence for such things is adequate reason for disbelief. The closest Expelled's theory comes to truth was Guillermo Gonzalez (with people who really should know better not acting as though they do).

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wups. That should probably be "Does not know absolutely? No.".

    Pesky english.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Do you personally think there's nothing contradictory, irrational or even hypocritical about the fact that the makers of a movie that's about critics being silenced and/or expelled, engage in expelling those who criticize them? How do you feel about the fact that the makers of the movie try to suppress free thought and open inquiry about the adequacy of Intelligent Design and creationist presuppositions?

    You're equivocating on the different uses of the word "expelled". The situations are not identical, and you know it. Being expelled from your academic job because of Intelligent Design views is not the same as being expelled from a movie preview, which again is not the same as expelling an invader to your home. PZ Myers can go see the movie now that it's out, and write whatever he wants: when do these academics get their jobs back?

    Also: what's your opinion on the fact that the makers of the movie used John Lennon's music without permission? That's stealing, right? Or not?

    Not. I'm amazed at the ridiculous assertions made by opponents of academic freedom. Eg, claiming that ID proponents will willfully breach copyright to use anything to support their claims. I mean, where's the gain in breaking the law? What benefit do they get, in the long run? They'll be caught, and it will spell disaster for their credibility. It is a testament to the outright hostility and bigotry of our opposition that they will throw any accusation out at the smallest amount of evidence. Eg, saying that Lennon's music was used without permission, before waiting to see what the truth is once the full evidence comes out. Normally one would wait, and see how things play out. But when it comes to ID, the opposition pulls out all guns and fire early, whether you hit or miss (and there's a lot of misses). Potential embarassment be damned - our fans will forget we were wrong anyway. Isn't this all just playing into our hands? Your unmitigated beligerance merely supports the contention being made - that there is irrational suppression of intelligent scientists and academics who want to pursue other research projects regarding explanations for the universe. And is it so absurd? The way you attack us you would have us believe that *even if* we assume God exists, created the universe, and left signatures of His work in it for us to discover, it still wouldn't be science to research them. And that's just ridiculous. Academics should be free to pursue research projects if they want, without fear of their jobs. Towing the party line doesn't get us the scientific revolutions. What are you afraid of? This ID fight has had to been taken to the popular level in large part because of the lack of tolerance showed to academics in academic institutes. Copernicus and Galileo were working against the prevailing viewpoints of their time. The idea of academic freedom is a good one.

    Expelled is relevant to this blog's goal because it 'contains face-to-face interviews with three irrationalists'

    The movie is also relevant because Intelligent Design puts a serious wrench into the system that Dawkins said makes it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Modus operandi:

         It is easier to read without the "replace X with...." So you would give the example as <a href="website address">display name</a>. The angle brackets themselves are inserted by using &lt; and &gt;

    ReplyDelete
  39. I think that anyone who reads through the various comments to the posts that we have had on Expelled will see that the point of the movie is being made right here and now.
    Previous to today I think that I was the only one commenting who had actually seen the movie (in preview form). Everyone else was authoritatively relying on what someone else had stated about it.
    At the mere mention of a movie that would criticize the scientific community the comments heaped upon the posts were a deluge of ad hominems and continue to be just that.
    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  40. The most interesting part of the movie is that the scientists make their authoritarian proclamations and come across as very erudite and compelling until they are simply asked again and again, “How do you know?” at which point they fall apart and demonstrate their worldview’s dogmatism.

    Mariano: ever heard of "editing"? How they come across is how Mathis/Stein wants them to come across. Did you bother trying to find out more about Dawkins' argument, or were you satisfied with what you got from Expelled? Did you even understand the argument, as it was presented in Expelled? I doubt it. Try this recent article by Dawkins, and let me know if you think his argument was fairly presented in Expelled.

    ReplyDelete
  41. "At the mere mention of a movie that would criticize the scientific community the comments heaped upon the posts were a deluge of ad hominems and continue to be just that."

    uh...you need to read the posts again. Show how the criticisms I pointed out were just ad hominems.

    ReplyDelete
  42. You're equivocating on the different uses of the word "expelled". The situations are not identical, and you know it. Being expelled from your academic job because of Intelligent Design views is not the same as being expelled from a movie preview, which again is not the same as expelling an invader to your home. PZ Myers can go see the movie now that it's out, and write whatever he wants: when do these academics get their jobs back?

    Let's look at the claim of Richard Sternberg.

    Expelled claims that Sternberg was terrorized and his life was nearly ruined when he published a pro-intelegent design article in 2004 as the editor of "Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. "

    To quote Stein, "The paper ignited a firestorm of controversy merely because it suggested intelligent design might be able to explain how life began."

    First off, before publishing the paper, Sternberg worked at GenBank (National Institutes of Health at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.) Sternberg was an unpaid Research Associate at the Smithsonian. His role as editor was voluntary and he had already given notice of his resignation as editor six months before the article was published. At no time was any aspect of Sternberg's pay or working conditions at GenBank affected. Nor was he disciplined for documented violations of policy at the Smithsonian. He simply stopped showing up even after his positions was extended in 2006.

    Second, Expelled doesn't even get the subject of the paper correct. Instead of being about the origin of life, the paper was actually about the Cambrian Explosion, which occurred billions of years later. More importantly, the controversy wasn't about ID being mentioned, it was about poorly-written, inaccurate science that had already been reviewed and rejected previously.

    As such, the paper was withdrawn out of embarrassment, emphasizing it was substandard science.

    Third, Sternberg claimed he was best qualified to handle the review process, when in fact, there were four other researchers at the journal who were more qualified. Yet Sternberg did not let any of these people look at the paper or even make them aware that it existed before publishing it. Sternberg's failure to follow normal procedure on his second-to-last issue as editor indicates that he knew exactly what kind of reaction the scientific community would have.

    Further claims that Sternberg was asked to "turn in his keys" and "denied access" were based on reorganization and improved security measures. Sternberg was offered new, identical research workspaces, but refused. Instead he requested space in an entirely different part of the museum, which was granted. All researchers were asked to return their keys in 2004 and were issue coded ID badges providing access to non-public areas. These bureaucratic events were used to manufacture a conspiracy to undermine him personally.

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  43. Scott, can you please reference your sources? I suspect you are basing this reply off Michael Shermer's review, which is thoroughly criticised by Casey Luskin. If you didn't use Shermer's review as a basis, then I would be especially keen to see your sources referenced.

    I notice also that you didn't counter any of the arguments in my post. I realise your attention was on my comment "when do these academics get their jobs back?" But countering only one example in the movie still has the rest standing strong, and most of my points didn't depend on this.

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  44. Croath, the reality behind Sternberg and the rest as evident in publicly available material are on display at Expelled Exposed, maintained by the NCSE. Sternberg was unprofessional and disingenuous in his conduct, and any damage to his reputation was entirely self-inflicted. It would seem his martyrdom has been greatly exaggerated.

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  45. Scott, can you please reference your sources?

    Much of this information came from this blog entry discussing the report listed on the Discovery Institute site and the Sternberg page on the Exposed Expelled site.

    Also, this report is linked to Rep. Senator Rick Santorum, who is far from impartial on this matter. Santorum can be seen in this video promoting support for the state of Israel and a pre-emptive strike on Iran in an attempt to protect end times prophecy.

    Christians United for Israel Tour

    In addition, Santorum is a known proponent against evolution. When interviewed about his book "It takes a family", Senator Rick Santorum was asked why he, as a non-scientist, took a serious shot at evolution...

    To paraphrase, he said, "because it really matters. It's were we come from. If we're just an accident - a mistake of nature - then that puts a different moral demand on us - In fact it, doesn't put a moral demand on us - then if we are the intentional creation of a supreme being that does make moral demands of us"

    NPR radio interview

    Clearly, if Santorum fears that evolution would destroy morality because of his theocratic belief that God is the author of man, he will oppose it - regardless if there is overwhelming scientific evidence to support it or not.

    I notice also that you didn't counter any of the arguments in my post.

    Here's one...

    The way you attack us you would have us believe that *even if* we assume God exists, created the universe, and left signatures of His work in it for us to discover, it still wouldn't be science to research them. And that's just ridiculous. Academics should be free to pursue research projects if they want, without fear of their jobs.

    If God left signatures in is work that clearly pointed to his involvement then God would become nature. Academics would have no problem with this and would be forced to change their theories. However, this doesn't appear to be the case. Nor would theists settle for such a God as his mystery and supernatural nature are what make him worthy of praise and worship.

    I realise your attention was on my comment "when do these academics get their jobs back?" But countering only one example in the movie still has the rest standing strong, and most of my points didn't depend on this.

    What's happening here is an attempt to confuse free speech with the scientific method.

    For example, Crocker used common creationist arguments in her presentation as attempts to "raise questions" about evolution. Some of these arguments were listed as creation arguments that should not be used on the Answers in Genesis website, because they were so easily disproved.

    Detailed responses to the remaining "expulsions" can be found here.

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  46. Croath, you may want to listen to this:
    A Conversation with Expelled's Associate Producer Mark Mathis.
    Sternberg is first out in the list of topics.

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  47. Adonais,
    Thank you for your questions, comments and link.

    Like I said in my review, I would much prefer to see the whole interview. But then again people would say that even though the interviewees stated what they stated they were being interviewed under false pretenses.

    But just how do you know that they come across as they do due to "editing"?

    In it interesting that I just told someone the other day that Prof. Dawkins simply states whatever is advantageous at the time and the article you linked proves it. He pretends to hold a position and then when confronted about it he mocks the very people that he deceived – this certainly is psychologically fascinating.

    Do you happen to know what Prof. Dawkins’ view is on how life on earth came to be?

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  48. Scott, I'll listen to that interview sometime. After reading the Expelled Exposed page regarding Sternberg's case, I would still recommend that link I gave authored by Casey Luskin. It covers many of the points. You could also try what I understand to be a governmental committee investigation into the reports.

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  49. But just how do you know that they come across as they do due to "editing"?

    Since "Expelled" is not a scientific documentary, and since it does not engage in any scientific arguments, Dawkins' attempt to present a scientific argument is undermined by the scope of the movie itself. The movie does not give enough screen time to present any actual scientific arguments, making Dawkins' come across as incoherent simply by not presenting the full argument. From your comment I see that, even upon reading the article I linked for you, you still do not understand the actual argument!

    In it interesting that I just told someone the other day that Prof. Dawkins simply states whatever is advantageous at the time and the article you linked proves it.

    Eh? How so - all he is doing is setting the record straight, offering the unfortunate audience of "Expelled" a chance to understand the nature of his "aliens" argument in the movie, which the moviegoer really has no chance of comprehending from the film itself, the way it was presented.

    He pretends to hold a position and then when confronted about it he mocks the very people that he deceived – this certainly is psychologically fascinating.

    I think you need to read the last two paragraphs of that article again, the punch line somehow escaped you. Recall that at the time of the interview, Dawkins and others believed that they were being interviewed for a film called "Crossroads," allegedly focusing on "the intersection of science and religion." Not a pro-creationism propaganda piece. Believing the spirit of the movie to be intellectual and benign, Dawkins offered the best possible case for ID that he could make, in order to show how even this case would be very implausible. If this argument had come across properly in in "Expelled," I don't think Dawkins would have had any reason to complain (other than that he was duped into participating in a pro-creationism movie). But that's not what happened.

    Do you happen to know what Prof. Dawkins’ view is on how life on earth came to be?

    Nope, no news on that. He presented one theory in The God Delusion for the sake of completeness, but he makes it clear to the reader that this is just one of several proposed theories, and we don't yet know which one(s) might turn out to be viable. There is no dearth of abiogenesis theories, as one might think from listening to theists. It's true that we don't know how it happened, and with history having erased the trail we might never know - but that doesn't mean that we don't have ideas about it how could have happened. In fact, it may turn out that more than one of the currently proposed theories are capable of abiogenesis, but that the one that happened first became the source for life on this planet, leaving no room for the other methods to happen or for their replicators to survive.

    Personally I'm hoping that the ideas of Stuart Kauffman will soon be demonstrated in the lab, showing at least one possible way in which abiogenesis could have happened (whether it's the one that actually happened, we still would not know, but that's less important). His theory shows how the earliest replicators and autonomous agents could have arisen as collectively autocatalytic chemical networks - and that's all it takes to get evolution started on the rest of the job. But he also goes much further and proposes (correctly, I believe, although unproven) the existence of a "fourth law of thermodynamics," a law of complexity that ultimately explains the emergence of the biosphere by inevitable moves into the adjacent possible configuration space. This is really hard stuff to prove rigorously, but it makes a lot of sense, and I hope he turns out to be right :)

    If you're interested in scientific abiogenesis, I can recommend his semi-popular book "Investigations" (it is popularly written, but a bit heavy on the technobabble in places). He also has a new one coming out in May that I'm looking forward to, called, conspicuously: "Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion." (an article here gives a flavor of the fortcoming book)

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  50. Adonais,

    Thank you for your concern and rest easy, I do understand Prof. Dawkins’ argument ;o)

    Expelled/Intelligent Design is not about, as you term it, creationism. This is why there are ID proponents who are atheists, agnostics, Moonies, Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc.

    For the record, I am not the sort of theist envisaged in the statement about there being “no dearth of abiogenesis theories” since I provided information on quite a number of them (here).
    [I know that you know but we do have new readership]

    I wanted to make sure that I understood something correctly:
    Stuart Kauffman, et al, will utilize their highly intelligent brains to design an experiment that will employ their specialized education in the utilization of laboratory equipment that was designed by very intelligent and specifically educated engineers in order to combine preexisting organic matter that will be consciously manipulated within a designed and purposefully controlled environment and this will demonstrate what exactly?

    Honestly, this is not mockery but an actual concern of mine.
    I do wonder if any of these experiments will ever amount to anything but proof of intelligent design. All that they will ever prove is that a group of scientists can make something do something.
    This, I am afraid, is what Prof. Dawkins means by being an intellectually satisfied atheist. As long as he can invent a story about how something could have occurred through materialistic means, that is good enough. He is fortunate enough to practice in a field that does not deal with truth but only with our best guess de jour.

    By the way, Prof. Dawkins’ view on life’s origins is “luck.”

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  51. I wanted to make sure that I understood something correctly:
    Stuart Kauffman, et al, will utilize their highly intelligent brains to design an experiment that will employ their specialized education in the utilization of laboratory equipment that was designed by very intelligent and specifically educated engineers in order to combine preexisting organic matter that will be consciously manipulated within a designed and purposefully controlled environment and this will demonstrate what exactly?


    Sure, they're setting things up in a controlled lab experiment - if they didn't, the only other way to test the theory would be to have a second Earth form afresh nearby and then watch it for a billion years or so. While I have noticed a certain impatience among theists, that would try the patience of even the staunchest scientist :) And since the proposed abiogenesis theories are all based on stochastic processes, one earth might not be enough - we'd probably need an ensemble of hundreds or thousands of earths under observation for a billion years, and then we could draw some conclusions.

    You have to realize that the intelligence of the experimenters is not what is being inferred in a lab experiment, if it is set up correctly. All they have to do is 1) show that they can achieve abiogenesis in the lab under certain conditions, and 2) show that those conditions existed during the early Earth history. In other words, if they can do it in the lab under early-earth-like conditions, then nature can also do it by itself, although the time scales will clearly be different.

    As for "pre-existing organic matter," such stuff has been observed floating around freely in space in dense nebulas, dark molecular clouds, and other funny places. Whether the organic molecules existed in the proto-stellar disk that formed the Earth, or were created by chemical processes in situ, or were delivered later by comets or something else - that's largely irrelevant to the issue of abiogenesis. It only had to be present; how it was created or how it got there can be a separate question (but one possible answer is that it was created naturally by chemical reactions).

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  52. mariano "I do wonder if any of these experiments will ever amount to anything but proof of intelligent design"
    So...not having a theory of abiogenesis leaves an "In the beginning" sized hole in our history...but trying to figure out a plausible one, with experiments based on a (grossly simplified) theoretical model of what the Earth may looked like around that time, only automatically proves ID...have you considered becoming a lawyer?

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  53. Croath:You could also try what I understand to be a governmental committee investigation into the reports.

    It's unclear if this really is an offical report.

    Though the Discovery Institute says that "The House Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources has issued its official report" on the matter, this does not appear to be an official report of that committee. Rather, it appears to be a report from the staff of the committee to Rep. Mark Souder only. The report is hosted on Souder's website, not the committee website, and there is nothing to indicate that it is an official committee report.

    In addition, if you look at the table of contents for this report, you'll note an appendix section that is not present in the link you provided.

    More details can be found on the following blog post, which I incompletely linked to earlier.

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