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Discovery News Release on Richard Dawkins Crashing EXPELLED Screening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS CONTACT: ROBERT CROWTHER
DISCOVERY INSTITUTE
(206) 292-0401 X107
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Richard Dawkins, World’s Most Famous Darwinist, Stoops to Gate-crashing Expelled
by Bruce Chapman, www.evolutionnews.org

Like many films im pre-release, Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is being selectively screened around the country to develop a buzz.

There is a growing fear by the producers that Darwinists may be trying get into the showings to make bootleg copies (for the Web?), possibly in hopes of damaging the commercial value. Others may be crashing because they want to trash it before it even gets reviewed by the media. P.Z. Myers, who was not let into a showing last night in Minnesota, probably falls in the latter category.

Amazingly, the best selling Oxford scientist/author Richard Dawkins also crashed a showing of Expelled in Minnesota last night and he not only was let in, but introduced at the end of the showing.

Dawkins apparently acknowledged that he had not been invited and did not have a ticket. A sophomoric side to his ideological is thus revealed.

Dawkins, understandably is nervous about this film, among other reasons because Ben Stein has him on camera acknowledging that life on Earth may, indeed, have been intelligently designed, but that it had to have been accomplished by space aliens! This is hilarious, of course, because Dawkins is death on intelligent design. But it turns out that that view applies only if it includes the possibility that the designer might be God.

Myers, of course, relished being expelled from Expelled, but objective observers know that Myers is the most vociferous advocate of expelling Darwin critics from academia. Not from movie pre-screenings where he wasn’t invited, mind you, but from their jobs. Too bad the film doesn’t show (and I wish it had), his promotion of advice to attack teachers and professors who dare question Darwin’s theory. The whole point of Myers is that he is a take-no-prisoners, crusading atheist scientist who has made it his purpose in life to harass people who disagree with him. Dawkins turns out to be his buddy and mutual admirer.

Frankly, I wish the producers would have a special pre-release screening for the Darwinists who are interviewed in the film — and invite some of the rest of us who have seen their depredations up close. We’d be glad to debate right there.

Among other things, I’d like to read some of the Darwinists’ statements and charges back to them and ask them to defend themselves. One of the most preposterous is that the well-funded’ Discovery Institute is funding this film! ( 1-They seem to have far more money available to them than we do, and 2-We are saving our pennies for the upcoming Broadway musical comedy, Darwin’s Folly.)

I have to say something else, personally. I have been sandbagged by one TV and documentary crew after another. So have Discovery-affiliated scientists. The interviewers all say they just want to understand the issue. Going in, they are quite clear about definitions, for example, and only start using Darwinist definitions of our positions when they report. They never provide questions in advance and even if they say they will stick to science questions and public policy, almost all sneak in questions about personal religious beliefs. Then, of all the footage, guess what gets on TV or in the documentary?

So it really is pathetic of Dawkins, et al to complain that when they were interviewed for Expelled they didn’t know that the film was inherently unfriendly. These are interviewees who received pre-agreed questions, signed release forms after the interviews were conducted, and actually got paid for their time.

I am getting more excited about Expelled myself and can’t wait to see the finished version. I suspect I’ll wish that the film was twice as long and had twice as much from Dawkins, P.Z. Myers, et al. From what I already have seen, they really expose themselves as the anti-intellectual, bullying poseurs they are — small men who above all are afraid of a fair contest.

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129 Responses to Discovery News Release on Richard Dawkins Crashing EXPELLED Screening

  1. 1

    My understanding is that PZ Myers registered via the web like everybody else at that screening. According to TwinCities.com, Myers claims:

    “The filmmakers had been advertising it. They’d been sending out e-mails to people who subscribed to their Web site and all you had to do to go was click on the site and tell how many guests you were going to bring,” said Myers, who did just that. “I wanted to be completely above-board. I signed under my own name and I didn’t think they would object because, after all, I am in the movie.”

    So if people could sign up via the web, why the complaint about him being “invited”? And why use police to keep him out of the area?

    And why say that critics “want to trash it before it even gets reviewed by the media” when regular movie critics have been excluded from screenings? “Bullying poseurs” indeed.

  2. Hey, why not check out an eye witness account here http://lookingcloser.wordpress.....#more-3247

    PZ seems to be good at telling his own version of special truth.

  3. “I was literally 3 feet away from Myers when he was “expelled,” I heard every word. It was obvious he was being kicked out by theatre management because he was not invited nor was he on the pre-submitted list. He didn’t cause a disruption per se; he was kindly escorted out.

    Dawkins himself acted as a perfect gentleman during the Q&A. He was respectful of everyone present, even though he was a little upset about Myers and his own role in the film.”

  4. 4

    hey idnet.com.au, look at comment #7, by PZ himself:

    Tsk, tsk, Stuart.

    I had an invitation. I had applied through the channels Expelled set up. I applied under my own name, and was approved. I have the first email that confirmed it, and the second email reminder, all from Motive Entertainment. Wanna see them?

    And so forth.

  5. This is just priceless. No doubt this little ruse is going to increase ticket sales by leaps and bounds.

    PZ et. al. are causing such a ruckus that one guy over at PT joked that, “Now, when you google Richard Dawkins its an ad for ‘Expelled’”. ROTFL.

    This debate is so entertaining…

  6. On 8-22-2007 PZ Myers threatened:

    I will go see this movie, and I will cheer loudly at my 30 seconds or whatever on the screen…

    Is it any wonder PZ Myers was prevented from attending this private screening? He had planned on disrupting it since at least 8-22-2007.

    Furthermore, who RSVPs to events that you are not invited to?

    The New York Times
    But Walt Ruloff, a partner in Premise Media, the film’s producer, said the screening was one of a series the producers have organized for the film, which opens April 18, in hopes of building favorable word-of-mouth among people likely to be sympathetic to its message. People like Dr. Myers and Dr. Dawkins would not have been invited, he said.

    Gate crashers: Yep.

    Also, PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins are in Minnesota for an Atheist Convention. During the weekend Christians celebrate Christ’s victory over Satan.

    Please pray for the atheist scoffers in Minneapolis this weekend that they may come to know Christ.

  7. 7

    William Wallace, I share your concern. But when Myers was kicked out of a film screening and then the people who kicked him out lied about what happened and why, he got a lousy witness. The fact is that “invitations” are irrelevant, since anybody could sign up simply via the web.

  8. Myers and Dawkins, especially Myers, along with a ton of other Darwinists that could be mentioned, are first class babies. They cannot take what they give out. And demonstrate it well in word and actions here.

    They are already in the way of the dinosaur – on the verge of extinction. And thank God for that. ;-)

    They have to be among the world’s most insecure atheists.

  9. The following was deleted at an unmentionable site. I would like to copy it here instead because it demonstrates that PZ Myers might have learned to game the RSVP system from Glen Davison:

    William Wallace wrote (at an unmentionable site):

    RSVPs are responses to invitations. Could you produce PZ Myers’ invitation? If he did not receive an invitation, what is he doing responding to an RSVP? The New York Times piece clearly states this was a private function.

    I happen to be in possession of an email invitation to the event, sent out to a Christian preacher.

    Paul Lauer wrote:


    You are invited to a FREE PRIVATE SCREENING of Ben Stein’s upcoming, history-making film, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” (Opening in theaters April 2008).

    Paul Lauer is the CEO of Motive Entertainment.

    Mr. Myers, can you produce the email invitation that you received?

    If not, do you know what RSVP means?

    Have you ever RSVP’d for a function you were not invited to before?

    Glen Davidson wrote:

    I found their rsvp site and I stuck it on this site, at Talkorigins, on AtBC, at Pharyngula, and at PT[Pandas Thumb]. It may have been discovered by others who they weren’t targeting, as well. All I know for sure is what I found and what I did with it.

    Also, the source of the Glen Davidson quote is down, coincidentally, and may be undergoing some PT-mafia memory hole revisions.

    Background: PZ Myers admits that he RSVP’d to a private screening. Yet, it is reasonable to believe that he may never have been invited to the screening in the first place, and thus, had no business RSVPing. I have the invitation to the same screening, as received by a Christian pastor. I have challenged PZ Myers to produce his invitation. don’t hold your breath waiting for a response.

    The use of an RSVP page to crash a private screening is deceitful at best.

  10. Meyers just wanted to see the movie cause hes a left wing atheist ego-trip. He wanted to find out as much as he could so he could go to work trashing the movie. For people like him its all about thier absurd poltical idiology. We ID advocates never ask that evolution not be taught- but his side does everything in their power to squash free speach- and that’s sad.

  11. Well said, Frost122585.

  12. Leo Stotch: The derision is not over his coming over to the ID side; the derision is over his saying the origin-of-life problem admits a solution by hyper-intelligent aliens bringing about life on earth (yes, this is an ID option) and then turning around and saying God is a completely whacked out solution to the same problem.

  13. Frost122585: And the fact that he actually is in the movie cannot have anything to do with it?

    William Dembski: Panspermia does not solve the origin of life problem and pretending that it does is incorrect and dishonest IMHO.

  14. leo

    “Why hold up Dawkins for derision for making a statement that is wholly compatible with the current state of ID research?”

    If you read “The God Delusion” you will see that for Prof Dawkins, there is no chance of a more developed space alien unless they first evolved in a Darwinian manner. The fact that Prof Dawkins admitted that detecting ID (space alien designers) was a scientific possibility, yet he excluded the possibility that God could be involved is not evidence based.

  15. 15

    Borne, “They have to be among the world’s most insecure atheists.” In my view, the insecurity comes from the producers of Expelled, who are trying to game the reception of their little project.

  16. “Furthermore, who RSVPs to events that you are not invited to?”

    William Wallace,
    I suppose you could argue that only people who have invites should use the signup website, but the open nature of the site means many people will be signing up without an invite. I did, and did not have an invite, and attended a showing in Raleigh. But then I am a nobody who was not expected to be disrupting the proceedings. I think this is very much sound and fury about very little, and simply demonstrates your oversensitivity and that of the producer. Freedom should be freedom for all not just for ID supporters. Isn’t that our point about the Darwinists in reverse?

    sincerely,
    d. grey

  17. Not to be contrary, but I think this shows poorly on our side.

    First, how do you gate crash a movie that has a website offering free tickets?

    http://rsvp.getexpelled.com/ev.....l/expelled

    I mean, anyone can sign up and bring up to 3 guests. They don’t have a list of people that can’t come. I’m planning to go see it when it comes to my city, will that make me a gate crasher if my wife reserves 3 guest tickets, and I’m not on the list?

    Second, when doing a movie about how we’re not allowed to discuss intelligent design in universities, and then we don’t allow Darwinists in to the movie… That’s irony, and not in a good way. We’re better than that. We don’t need to stoop to their methods. We should rise above it. The producers should have been brave enough to show the movie, even to as awful a man as that Prof. Meyers.

    Today, I’m embarrassed by how our side behaved.

  18. … small men who above all are afraid of a fair contest.

    As opposed to the DI fellows who testified at Dover.

    Please.

  19. IMHO, none of this matters. It was a private screening, and the producers can turn away *anyone* they like.

    No one is keeping Myers from seeing the documentary, so this is nothing even remotely close to being “expelled”. Myers can go see the movie as many times as he likes. It opens in theatres across the country in about 27 days.

    To compare this to Darwinists suppressing academic freedom in regard to ID is nonsense. Myers just needs to show a little patience.

    I think it’s great publicity and sure to bring more peole to the theatres April 18.

  20. FtK,

    You’re right, this isn’t the same as ruining careers. But it’s still petty. And it shows a disturbing quality of character, that is similar in tone if not in magnitude as the Darwinists.

    Are we trying to be like them? Or are we trying to be better than them?

    And the claim that he was ‘crashing’ the movie. Please. Go to the website. It’s *easy* to get tickets.

    Why are we rallying around this behavior? Is it because they’re on our side? Wouldn’t we be mad if it were Dawkins doing this to Dr. Dembski?

    Wrong is wrong. Petty is petty. No matter who’s side it’s on.

  21. Personally, I don’t believe Dembski, Wells, Behe or any of the IDists would do what PZ did. It’s sophomoric. Obviously, these are private screenings, and it’s also obvious that Myers went in just to be a shyster.

    Think about it. If Myers thought what he was doing was on the up and up, he would have blogged about it before hand just like he blogs about everything he’s involved in.

    Internet Darwinsts have been joking about getting into the movie by signing up as preachers, etc. They understand that the screenings aren’t meant for the general public at this point. Myers knows that as well.

    Obviously, Myers wanted to create commotion by slipping into the flick, and he did. Actually, he created even more than he planned to. Personally, I see nothing wrong with turning a guy like him away, and like I said…this *will* bring more people to the theatres.

  22. 22

    I think everyone with a brain should see Expelled.

  23. 23

    I would like to apologize if I’ve ever been rude or offensive to anyone on this blog. Sometimes I can be a bit.

    Yea Expelled!

  24. dnmlthr: “Panspermia does not solve the origin of life problem and pretending that it does is incorrect and dishonest IMHO.”

    It solves the problem of the origin of observed life. Since ID is science, it can only infer based on what is observed.

    But I’m curious now. What sort of science do you support that can figure out the origins of what it cannot observe? Or is this something you only require of ID?

    Incidently, which incorrect solution to the origin of life problem do you ascribe to?

  25. FtK,

    This is still going to ring badly in the public’s eye. Americans hate hypocrites. If you make a movie about censorship and expulsion, and then turn around and do the same thing (whether it is to someone who is sophomoric, or whatever), Americans will hate that. And then to defend those actions because they were on our side?

    I think we should all denounce what the makers of Expelled did (and those of you with influence should try to get them to apologize). It doesn’t matter if the other side behaves poorly. WE HAVE TO BEHAVE BETTER. Otherwise to Joe Public, we look like poorly behaving hypocrites. And there’s nothing Americans hate worse than hypocrites.

  26. Nochange says, “If you make a movie about censorship and expulsion, and then turn around and do the same thing (whether it is to someone who is sophomoric, or whatever), Americans will hate that… It doesn’t matter if the other side behaves poorly. WE HAVE TO BEHAVE BETTER.”

    Nochange has a point here. If there’s no evident moral difference between the sides, then there’s no real difference. And if something’s so fragile that it can’t bear a few unsolicited jibes from the opposition, well, it’s a bit too fragile, don’t you think?

    The little piggy in the brick house doesn’t care how much the wolf huffs and puffs.

  27. Hmmm…I guess after listening to the rants and foul rambling of PZ Myers for so many years, I believe it is *completely* justified to keep him out of the private screenings.

    True, Joe Public has no clue who Myers is, but my hope is that episodes like this will raise their curiousity enough to check out Pharyngula. Going through that man’s archives will certainly be a wake up call for those who have no clue about the dogma that is presented by the scientific community as “fact”.

    It will also open their eyes to the goal that many of those in the scientific community have…to eradicate religion.

  28. What the producers ought to do is invite all those who are featured in the movie to a special private screening before the flick hits the big screen.

    They can all sit together in a theatre and enjoy each other’s company. LOL. Now, *that* would be an interesting way to get more publicity.

    Maybe Dembski, Scott, Myers, Dawkins, Sternberg, and Behe could all pile together in a big group hug while the cameras flash…tee hee.

  29. And if something’s so fragile that it can’t bear a few unsolicited jibes from the opposition, well, it’s a bit too fragile, don’t you think?

    But, they allowed Dawkins and a whole group of other ID bashers in. That certainly doesn’t seem to justify the thought that they “can’t bear a few unsolicited jibes from their opposition”.

  30. As an interesting addition to this debate, Will Provine and I were interviewed by Mark Mathis and his crew last year. Like PZ myers, Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott and others, we were lied to about both the title of the film (they said it was “Crossroads”, not “Expelled”, for which a website domain listing was acquired several months before our interview) and the purpose of the film, which they said was to present an even-handed look at both sides of the debate.

    However, unlike PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins, the interviews with Will and I were not included in the film. Why not? Because (as many posters at this site are well aware), we regularly invite ID proponents (such as Michael Behe, John Sanford, Hannah Maxson, and Phillip Johnson, among many others) to make presentations in our evolution courses at Cornell. But this fact would clash in an unfortunate way with the premise of the film, which is that “Darwinists” unfairly discriminate against ID supporters and creationists.

    In other words, “Expelled” is a propaganda piece, pure and simple, as are virtually all of the public pronouncements of the Discovery Institute and their supporters. Scientists don’t make propaganda movies (although we are sometimes invited to participate in them under fraudulent pretenses). No, we go out into the field and the laboratory and investigate nature.

    This fascination with the way the universe works is the heart and soul of science, not a desire to undermine religion. If that were the case, why were many of the founders of the science of evolutionary biology (including Ronald Aylmer Fisher, Sewall Wright, Theodosius Dobzhansky) and so many current evolutionary biologists (including Ken Miller and myself, among others) members of various religious traditions?

    Treating people with whom you disagree as “enemies” is the antithesis of the intellectual tradition. Just because you happen to agree with one “enemies” list and therefore eagerly participate in demonizing those with whom you disagree doesn’t absolve you of committing a heinous sin against the ancient and honorable traditions of the academy. Just the opposite, in fact. And using ad hominem arguments (not to mention resorting to agumentum ad hitleram, as did the producers of “Expelled”) are the tactics of propagandists, not scholars.

    Shame on Ben Stein, Mark Mathis, and their supporters, and shame on anyone who resorts to character assassination, mendacity, and subterfuge in the pursuit of what should be an argument based on reason and evidence.

  31. Scientists don’t make propaganda movies (although we are sometimes invited to participate in them under fraudulent pretenses).”

    Allen, have you not viewed BBC “The war on science”? Is this not a propaganda piece?

    Have you not viewed the extensive “Beyond Belief” videos of the recent Atheist fest, or seen Richard Dawkins videos? Are you saying that Richard is not a scientist?

    That is “beyond belief”!

  32. [...] When have you ever debated evolutionary biology? So to decline to do so on the basis of my… idnet.com.au: “Scientists don’t make propaganda movies (although we are sometimes invited to participate [...]

  33. (1) Allen,

    Very well put!

    I am not a professional scientist. I’m admittedly a bit skeptical of the ID-as-legitimate-science position – the demographic this film is intended to likely target – and I must say: I am not impressed by what I’ve heard so far.

    In fairness, I haven’t seen the film, but I have been following the publicity, and out of every remark in this above thread, yours is by far the most informative.

    If what you say is true, and I don’t doubt it, I think that neutral viewers will recognize this film for what it is.

    (2) All,

    Frankly the original post doesn’t make sense: why was Dawkins “allowed” to see it, but Myers turned away? And if Dawkins was allowed in, how does this square with the argument that this screening was not intended to be seen by “pro-Darwin” folks? And in addition, something seems fishy about the claims that their acquisition was not “legitimate” when a web site freely allowed people to register for tickets, as Nochange states above. Myers is very clear about how he registered. Oh, he can be a jerk alright, but frankly, his position is a lot clearer than the voice above explaining why he wasn’t allowed in.

    The more I read through these threads, the more I think that Myers and pro-ID advocates deserve one another.

    -brandon

  34. “Treating people with whom you disagree as “enemies” is the antithesis of the intellectual tradition.”

    Have you been to the “scientist” PZM’s blog recently? Have you seen Richard Dawkins video entitled “The Enemy of Reason”? Take some time Allen to view http://thesciencenetwork.org/BeyondBelief/ note that this is on THE SCIENCE NETWORK and is SCIENTISTS talking PROPAGANDA against those they see as their ENEMIES.

    “doesn’t absolve you of committing a heinous sin against the ancient and honorable traditions of the academy.”

    Who is moralising now? Who decides what is, and is not sin? If our opposition lies, calls us enemies, and calls what we say is the truth, “a lie”, how can we say who is or is not sinning?

    Shame on Ben Stein, Mark Mathis, and their supporters, and shame on anyone who resorts to character assassination, mendacity, and subterfuge in the pursuit of what should be an argument based on reason and evidence.”

    By assassinating the character of these men (and their supporters) Allen, have you not condemned yourself with your own words?

  35. Dennis Grey wrote:

    Freedom should be freedom for all not just for ID supporters. Isn’t that our point about the Darwinists in reverse?

    These were private screenings designed to create buzz for the film. They were provided free of charge by the producers. They should have the freedom to decide who they will and will not buy movie tickets for.

    PZ Myers will get to see the film when it is released. His biggest problem is a town like Morris might only have one theater.

    Nochange

    I’m planning to go see it when it comes to my city, will that make me a gate crasher if my wife reserves 3 guest tickets, and I’m not on the list?

    If you are not invited, you should not RSVP. If you RSVP, that is gaming the system. If you want to get invited, send an email to:

    jessica [at] motiveYYYmarketing dot biz minus the YYY

    NochangeAnd the claim that he was ‘crashing’ the movie. Please. Go to the website. It’s *easy* to get tickets.

    Don’t game the system. When I was younger I worked at a concert, and figured out a way to get into concerts for free. But pretending to be a worker to gain access through a service entrance would have been as bad as PZ Myers pretending to have been invited to a private screening.

    The Myers/Dawkins atheist entourage cost the producers of this film. Specifically, other guests such as preachers and elders who could have helped create even more positive buzz.

    RSVPing to events you’re not invited to is gate crashing, period.

  36. MacNeill@ 31:
    “we were lied to about both the title of the film”

    How do you know it was a lie, Mr. MacNeill? Do you really believe that film-makers, or even authors for that matter, actually stick to the first title that comes to mind? There are a number of possibilities that you may not be accounting for, like copyright infringements, maybe.

  37. 37

    JPCollado, the producers registered a domain name for “Expelled” in early 2007, and then contacted interviewees a few months later and told them they were producing a film called “Crossroads.” But they already had the “Expelled” name and never registered “Crossroads.” Therefore, they lied. QED.

  38. larry @ #37:
    “JPCollado, the producers registered a domain name for “Expelled” in early 2007″

    larry, where is the evidence for this. I would like to see it.

  39. Relevant to post # 38:
    Considering the fastidiousness with which Darwinists operate in collecting evidence against their so-called enemies, it would not be too much of a demand when asking for this little bit of evidence.

  40. 40

    Easy enough. A whois search produces:

    Domain name: EXPELLEDTHEMOVIE.COM

    [snip[
    Record last updated on 16-Feb-2008.
    Record expires on 02-Mar-2009.
    Record created on 02-Mar-2007.

    Emphasis added. I clipped all the stuff that’s irrelevant, because it’s mostly avoid protecting the privacy of the site owner.

    Maybe someone else happened to register the domain name “Expelledthemovie.com” months before PZ Myers and others were contacted. Then the movie producers happened to buy the domain name from them.

    That would be a coincidence beyond the Upper Credibility Bound.

  41. 41

    correction: for “avoid protecting” above, read “avoid releasing.”

  42. JPCollado, anyone with a browser can check the domain name issue out. It’s a standard tool that’s been around for years: whois. You can also get this info via command line tools for various platforms(i.e. Linux, BSD, Windows, Mac, etc., etc.).

    Anyway, go here:

    http://www.networksolutions.co.....emovie.com

    And you’ll see the domain record first appeared in Network Solutions’ database on 3/2/2007, which indeed is well before the interviews were conducted. This is all publicly accessible information. If you look at the page a bit more closely, you’ll see a link to the actual registry data, which pushes the date back to 3/1/2007 (if you use a command line whois client, you’ll get this date listed first. As to the two dates, it’s down to the vagaries of domain registration, as the database records aren’t instantly updated and can take a little while to propogate around the net).

    The other piece of the puzzle is the fact that until yesterday, there was no record for “crossroadsthemovie.com”. Apparently, some guy in Texas decided to create it. I have no idea what for. Based on the raw registry record, he still hasn’t actually gotten control of the domain yet.

  43. larry @ # 40,

    Perhaps I’ve missed something. Exactly how does one prove that a fraud has been committed here?

  44. larry,

    Mr.MacNeill mentioned that he was lied to when the producers referred to a movie called “Crossroads.” Do you have any information regarding this? Fraud charges are not valid until a connection is made between these two titles, along with the relevant dates.

    We are still in a “he said, she said” stage, and until there is evidence corroborating that the producers did in fact lie to the interviewees, Mr. MacNeill should refrain from using this sort of mudslinging.

    Also, I find it odd that Mr.MacNeill is not answering these questions, preferring instead to have someone else do it for him. Not a very good idea since statements could be mixed and lead to confusion.

  45. larry, according to the link you provided,

    Tucows makes this information available “as is,” and does not guarantee its accuracy.

    Not very good evidence from the standpoint of a fraud investigation.

  46. When were the first interviews conducted? The movie was being promoted last August so I assume all the interviews were complete by then. Were they all after the February 12th date?

    I do not understand the significance of the name change. Maybe the Expelled name would have tipped them off but so what. Would the interviewees have said something different if they knew the purpose of the movie? If so then, then the use of a false name is appropriate in order to get valid reactions. Otherwise they would have given false reactions.

    I hardly see the purpose of this posturing about the name of the movie or its intent. By complaining they are admitting they would have changed their story and admitting they are not fair on this issue. Otherwise why the objections. They can object if the editing distorts their position which would be revealed by a fairer editing. But they have no complaints if the editing is representative of their statements.

    Dembski has said he has been sandbagged by Darwinist who edit his comments out of context. The Darwinist can have the same complaint if Expelled does the same but not if the interviews are good samples of what they said.

    This much ado about nothing.

  47. Here is when the domain name “expelledthemovie” was registered at TUCOWS INC.:

    http://whois.domaintools.com/expelledthemovie.com

    That is, March 1, 2007. No domain name for “crossroadsthemovie” has ever been registered. If you have ever registered a domain name yourself, you know that it never appears in the WHOIS listing before you register it; only after. Therefore, the very latest that this domain could have been registered is March 1, 2007.

    Here is the “meta: description that goes with the aforelisted registration:

    “Ben blows the horn on Suppression! Science and Education has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom. What they forgot is that every generation has its Rebel…”

    I was interviewed by Mark Mathis & Co. on May 3, 2007. I have a canceled check from Rampant Films (canceled on May 5, 2007, the day after I deposited it), in payment for my interview (which, as I mentioned in my original post, was cut from the film).

    How much more evidence would you like that I (and Will Provine, and every other evolutionary biologist that was interviewed for this film) was lied to, repeatedly and for blatantly political (i.e. not scientific) reasons?

    And BTW, the reason I did not immediately respond to the posts following mine was because I was coloring Easter eggs with my four kids. So sue me…

  48. Jerry asked:

    “Were they all after the February 12th date?”

    My interview (and Will Provine’s) was three months after the domain name “expelledthemovie” was registered. Unless the video crew was on the road for several months (pretty expensive), I would guess that nearly all of the interviews were conducted in late April and early May.

    Ergo, the film crew lied about the name and the intent of the film, and did so to hoodwink us into participating.

    And, given that both Will Provine and my interviews directly contradicted the main thesis of the film, and were subsequently cut from the film, it should be clear to anyone what the actual intent of the film makers was from the beginning:

    Propaganda, pure and simple.

  49. Now, as to what I would have said to the film makers had they been honest about their intent from the beginning:

    I would have said exactly the same thing, and in exactly the same way. I am proud of the fact that both Will and I always invite members of the “loyal opposition” to make extended presentations in our evolution courses at Cornell. I am even more proud that our students make up their own minds about where they stand on these issues. For the record, I have given A grades to students with whom I vehemently disagreed (because their research papers were brilliantly argued and impeccably supported by references from the primary literature) and C grades to students with whom I strongly agreed (because their research papers were unoriginal and badly supported with few or no original references).

    It is not an ad hominem argument to call someone a liar when you have proof positive (including citations to reliable primary references) that they have lied. No scientist would ever be allowed to get away with this kind of distortion of the facts in a scientific publication. Indeed, it would be the end of their career as a scientist.

    The fact that some of the commentators to this blog think just the opposite is a clear indication to me of what they think of academic integrity and the level of respect due to one’s opponents in an intellectual debate.

  50. 50

    JPC, I never said “fraud” but “lie.” I don’t really think of this in terms of litigation (others might, of course.)

    But it raises an interesting possibility. Suppose somebody sues the producers of Expelled for fraud or something like it. Then, of course, the discovery process follows. When you shake a tree, all sorts of things may fall out.

    Maybe we’ll find an intermediate form of the movie title:

    Expecrossroadslled

    I’ve seen something like that before somewhere, I’m sure. [LNF scratches head.]
    Can’t remember, though.

  51. Jerry wrote (in #45):

    “Dembski has said he has been sandbagged by Darwinist who edit his comments out of context.”

    This is known as an argumentum tu quoque and is a classic rhetorical move when one has no logical support for one’s argument.

    Jerry also wrote:

    “The Darwinist can have the same complaint if Expelled does the same, but not if the interviews are good samples of what they said.”

    In other words, if one is quote-mined, but the quote is verbatim, it’s okay, right?

    And what if one says something that doesn’t fit with one’s thesis? If one is dishonest, one pretends that it was never said. Let me remind you once again what T. H. Huxley said about this:

    “[Science] warns me to be careful how I adopt a view which jumps with my preconceptions, and to require stronger evidence for such belief than for one to which I was previously hostile.”

    http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/letters/60.html

    That is, if one is being honest, one requires more proof for an assertion that is close to one’s own position than for one with which one disagrees. But propaganda is just the opposite, and propaganda is all that this movie is about.

  52. Jerry also wrote (in #45):

    “This much ado about nothing.”

    And here I agree whole-heartedly with Jerry. The movie “Expelled” is quite literally “about nothing.” It has about the same bearing toward the real issues at play in this debate as Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” has to marine biology.

  53. Dr. MacNeill,

    I have no quarrels with the deception on the name and the purpose of the movie. Having been involved in market research, I know you often do not get accurate responses when asking direct questions and your intentions are known. We rarely if ever identified who was sponsoring the research. I was ABD in a Ph.D program in consumer behavior until my advisor wanted me to change what my dissertation was about to his pet project. My dissertation was to explore ways to get accurate responses from respondents during research. You never asked direct questions or let them know what your intentions were.

    So I have no problems with the deception. It is standard in controversial areas. I would be willing to bet the ranch that if they ever addressed the real topic of the film, they would 1) not have gotten the interviews and 2) not gotten valid answers from those that accepted. The word would be all over the planet in nano seconds about what was happening and the interviews would have failed to get any responses.

    You have a valid objection if the interviewee’s words are distorted as Michael Moore has done in his documentaries. Let’s wait till we all see it and then we can assess if everyone’s view points is consistent with their views expressed in the interviews or cherry picked to make them look bad.

    If Ben Stein has egg on his face because he distorted the interviews, then it should be acknowledged. But if he accurately portrayed what was in the interviews, then so be it. Then it will not be propaganda but an valid portrayal of how people behave and think on this issue. My guess it will be a little bit of both.

    I agree that either your’s or Will Provine’s opinion should be included just to show some other opinions that evolutionary biology has. But from what I understand your position is rare.

    I hope the eggs were fun to color.

  54. 54

    jerry, I’m prepping for Easter so this’ll be my last comment for a bit. But I have to comment, as I’ve been involved in survey research myself, on controversial subjects (the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse). I’m surprised at this:

    My dissertation was to explore ways to get accurate responses from respondents during research. You never asked direct questions or let them know what your intentions were.

    First, of course, the producers of Expelled weren’t conducting research (they didn’t conduct a random survey, for example). They were clearly playing “gotcha.” Second, although researchers may withhold the purpose of the research from the subjects, they will not intentionally deceive subjects as to the point of research. Not if they expect it to gain approval from the IRB (that’s Institutional Review Board for those who aren’t familiar with this kind of work).

    Deceiving subjects about the purpose of research — encouraging them to think it’s about one thing when it’s about anohter — is different from withholding the purpose, and is unethical. Period.

    But again, all this is beside the point, since Expelled seems not to be research.

  55. Allen MacNeil,

    You said

    “jerry also wrote:

    “The Darwinist can have the same complaint if Expelled does the same, but not if the interviews are good samples of what they said.”

    In other words, if one is quote-mined, but the quote is verbatim, it’s okay, right?”

    That is a distortion of what I was trying to say. How can you come to that conclusion when even your own quote says I said “if the interviews are a good sample on what they said.” Quote mining usually refers to when the selection is not a good sample of what was said. You cannot use all of an interview but if what you do use is representative of what was said in total, then it is not quote mining and is ok.

    The much ado about nothing refers to the complaints being made. If the movie is a distortion then it will not be much ado about nothing. I can almost guarantee that the interpretation of what was said will be along party lines no matter what was actually in the movie. But I bet the people here will be more honest about the content than any pro Darwin site.

    Come late April check out the civility of the standard pro evolution sites such as Panda’s Thumb and PZ Myers’s site.

  56. larry @ #49:
    “JPC, I never said “fraud” but “lie.”

    Same difference. Either/or, I don’t see enough compelling evidence that the producers lied to Mr.MacNeill.

  57. I intend to both go to see “Expelled” and post a review of it at my blog. If there are any substantive arguments in it (i.e. supported by evidence), I will assess them and post that assessment, whichever way it falls.

    In particular, I intend to do an analysis of the logic of the arguments presented in the film. One that I am already aware of is the argumentum ad hitleram noted earlier. There may be others; we shall see…

  58. JPCollado wrote (in #55):

    “…I don’t see enough compelling evidence that the producers lied to Mr. MacNeill.”

    My lawyer was of exactly the opposite opinion, and advised suing the filmmakers if my comments were included in the film. However, on further consideration, I thought that this would only add support to the main thesis of the film: that evolutionary biologists have “unfairly persecuted” proponents of ID.

    And so, I decided not to pursue a lawsuit against Rampart Films, which (in the fullness of time) would have been pointless anyway, as my comments were not included in the movie for the reasons I posted earlier.

    For those who require documentation from primary sources, I have originals of all of my email correspondence with Rampart Films, Mark Mathis, Will Provine, Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Eugenie Scott, and my lawyer on the aforementioned points, and would be happy to share them (with personal information redacted for the sake of privacy) with anyone interested. You can find a link to my email address at my blog:

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/

  59. larrynormanfan wrote:
    Maybe someone else happened to register the domain name “Expelledthemovie.com” months before [Paul Z.] Myers and others were contacted. Then the movie producers happened to buy the domain name from them.

    That would be a coincidence beyond the Upper Credibility Bound.

    Speaking of coincidences beyond the upper credibility bound, macro evolution certainly satisfies that. At least we have researchers like Dr. Behe trying to quantify the bounds of micro-evolution.

    You’ve got a domain name, and a date. You don’t know who bought the domain, who knew about the domain purchase within the organization, etc.

    Besides, as far as I can tell, Paul Z. Myers is going out of his way to come up with stunts that generate free publicity. Makes me wonder if he has a royalty agreement. I think it is more likely that this is a set up leading to a Paul Allen funded Darwinitst response to Expelled, which will become mandatory viewing in public schools.

  60. larrynormanfan,

    You make a distinction without a difference. The movie is reporting research. It is not your typical research but is on the opinions and thoughts of evolutionary biologists about ID and then using those opinions to show what happens to people in the world who espouse ID. There is an obligation to accurately report their views. You can argue that it may not be a true sample but I doubt that it is not that biased. How many biology departments allow criticism of Darwin? And if they do, then how many actually do it.

    In the real world there is no need to go through an IRB. And in this case all you have to say is that we are trying to get your opinions about evolution and intelligent design. You can be a vague as that but if you want to get valid opinions you have to be careful how you ask your questions and disguise your objectives especially about politically charged issues.

    I would get entirely different answers on beliefs and opinions depending upon how you asked the questions and what you told the subject up front. If they didn’t know the purpose of the research, you would get more accurate answers because they didn’t know how to game the answers.

    So I have no problems with the approach. Let’s wait and see how this plays out. My guess is that this movie will just play to the choir and that few not directly interested ahead of time will see it. Stein is courting all the familiar religious sources for this movie so let’s see who goes besides the faithful. I cannot imagine anyone in my extended family that would be interested in it besides me.

  61. MacNeill @ # 46:
    “I was interviewed by Mark Mathis & Co. on May 3, 2007. I have a canceled check from Rampant Films (canceled on May 5, 2007, the day after I deposited it), in payment for my interview (which, as I mentioned in my original post, was cut from the film).”

    Mr.MacNeill, the check was cut from the original film name and not in the name of the issuing company? A savvy company like Rampant actually spending money in creating blank checks for a film name that hasn’t been registered yet doesn’t sound like good business practice to me. Otherwise, how does a cancelled check establish that a lie has been committed on the part of the company?

  62. William Wallace wrote (in #58):

    “Speaking of coincidences beyond the upper credibility bound, macro evolution certainly satisfies that. At least we have researchers like Dr. Behe trying to quantify the bounds of micro-evolution.”

    This is a classic diversionary tactic in rhetoric as well: if one has no substantive rebuttal, then change the subject.

    He also wrote:

    “You’ve got a domain name, and a date.”

    Have you actually followed the link to the DNS registrar I posted above? If you have, how could you possibly have asked this question, as all of the information you asked about (plus much more) is available at that link.

  63. JPCollado asked (in #60):

    “…how does a cancelled check establish that a lie has been committed on the part of the company?”

    The canceled check was not intended as direct evidence for prevarication on the part of the film makers. It was intended to substantiate the chronology listed in my post, which made it very clear that the film makers were completely aware of the nature of the film they were actually intending to make when they interviewed me. As I was actually present at the interviews and heard (and responded to) the questions that they asked, and the context within which they asked them, in the absence of a recording you will have to take my word for it that they repeatedly lied about their intentions before, during, and after the interview.

  64. P.S. The canceled check didn’t have the name of the movie on it; only the name of the production company (i.e. Rampant Films), which apparently specializes in films of a religious nature. Odd; I thought that ID is a purely secular endeavor, not tied in any way to a particular religious agenda. Am I missing something?

  65. JPCollado wrote (in #55):
    “…I don’t see enough compelling evidence that the producers lied to Mr. MacNeill.”

    MacNeill @ # 57:
    “My lawyer was of exactly the opposite opinion, and advised suing the filmmakers”

    Are we still talking about the name of the film? If only on this count, the lawsuit would not have enough thread to run the course. Defense lawyers could simply counter and say that name changes are commonplace in the industry.

    Kudos to Jerry @ # 52 who has some good pointers on this.

  66. Jerry asked (in #59):

    “How many biology departments allow criticism of Darwin? And if they do, then how many actually do it.”

    Mine does (that is, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University). Not only that, but they criticize each other’s work with a vehemence that surpasseth understanding. That’s why we are so careful to have as much empirical evidence in support of our hypotheses as we can possibly gather. That’s what science is all about: subjecting one’s favorite hypotheses to the most withering criticism imaginable. Have ID supporters done this? Not on this site, as far as I can tell…

  67. Allen_MacNeill
    “Am I missing something?”
    Yes – its called “academic freedom” – otherwise known as freedom of speech and of religion.

    Consider being required to “believe” or spout neo-Dawinism under fear of looking one’s job, grants etc. – Even when one sees that most evidence is not explained by it.

    Since neo-Darwinism is enforced by self selected atheists, it is natural that those who believe in inalienable human rights would work to expose this discrimination.

  68. JPCollado asked (in #64):

    “Are we still talking about the name of the film?”

    No, we’re taking about the intentions of the film makers to defraud those being interviewed for the purposes of making a propaganda film. Discussions of the name of the film are only supporting evidence.

    Obviously, the film makers are free to produce any kind of propaganda they like. What they are not free to do is to deliberately mislead the people they are interviewing for the purposes of producing such propaganda.

    Once again, I would not have answered their questions any differently had they represented themselves honestly. That’s not the point. The point is intellectual integrity and honesty, neither of which the film makers have one iota.

  69. MacNeill @ #63:
    “The canceled check didn’t have the name of the movie on it; only the name of the production company (i.e. Rampant Films), which apparently specializes in films of a religious nature”

    Mr.Macneill, if it is apparent that Rampant specializes in religious films, then how could you have been misled as to the intent of their interviews?

  70. DLH wrote (in #66):

    “Consider being required to “believe” or spout neo-Dawinism under fear of looking one’s job, grants etc.”

    I’m not required to believe anything by anybody else, nor are my students, nor my colleagues. On the contrary, the only thing we are “required” to do is to support our arguments using empirical evidence and citation of published research. That requirement is not “legal”, however; it’s moral. Indeed, it is the bedrock foundation of the scientific tradition.

    DLH also wrote:

    “Since neo-Darwinism is enforced by self selected atheists…”

    …like Ronald Aylmer Fisher, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ken Miller, and myself, right?

  71. JPCollado asked (in #68):

    “…if it is apparent that Rampant specializes in religious films, then how could you have been misled as to the intent of their interviews?”

    Unfortunately, I naively believed their representations to me at the time, and did no research into their activities then. Indeed, I only became aware of their true nature when I found out about the real focus of the film “Expelled” and did some digging into their other productions. I guess academics and scientists are a little too trusting: we expect people to tell the truth about what they are doing, rather than to lie repeatedly for the sake of producing propaganda. silly me…

  72. Allen_MacNeill – at 65

    Mine does [allow criticism of Darwin](that is, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University).

    Our complements.

    Will your Department actually allow fair consideration of models allowing for and testing intelligent causes?

    WITHOUT requiring that the agent’s identify be specified?
    Or excluding agents because of its possible identity?

    Or would they ostracize any person making such as proposal like Richard Sternberg or Stephen Meyers or Guillermo Gonzalez?

  73. MacNeill @ #62:
    “you will have to take my word for it that they repeatedly lied about their intentions before, during, and after the interview.”

    Well, I don’t know about that considering that you have mischaracterized other ID projects, like identifying Discovery Institute as a Neo-Creationism Propaganda Ministry, for instance. With such antagonostic predispositions, a person’s memory and perception could be warped in a negative way.

  74. Dr. MacNeill,

    I appreciate your attitude toward allowing criticism in your classes. I don’t deny that there is general criticism across the country in evolutionary biology but I doubt much has to do with criticism of naturalistic methods for macro evolution in the sense of how complex novel functionality came about. This is what ID is critical of and seems to be lacking in nearly everywhere I have seen. Maybe Cornell is an exception.

    By the way I am through about 2/3 of the Jablonka and Lamb’s book. It is quite interesting and gets a little too abstract at places so it will require a couple more readings to understand everything. My reactions are that it should be a required addition to the standard discussion of evolution but have not seen anything yet that undermines ID. ID should have no problem with any of the propositions proposed since none really address macro evolution in the sense ID is interested in macro evolution. Though I have not finished the book, only through chapter 7 on the interaction of epigenetics and genes. I love the discussion of the unmasked genes and how this might be important. But the relationships to Lamarckian evolution is a little stretched since the gene change or changed phenotype may not related at all to the type of stimulus causing the change.

  75. MacNeill @ #70:
    “Unfortunately, I naively believed their representations to me at the time, and did no research into their activities then. Indeed, I only became aware of their true nature when I found out about the real focus of the film “Expelled” and did some digging into their other productions.”

    So you have no case, Mr.MacNeill. None whatsoever. How could your lawyer propose a lawsuit when due diligence would have placed the onus on you to make the necessary discovery. It is not like Rampant is hiding the nature of their films, as you said.

    On that note, Fox also specializes in religious films. Does that make them propaganda-driven as well?

    Oh, and before I forget, I checked Rampant’s webpage and found these titles:

    A Tale of Two Laredos

    The Hitchhiker

    Band Aid – Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working

    These don’t sound religious to me.

  76. Allan_MacNeill
    By: “Since neo-Darwinism is enforced by self selected atheists…”
    I was referring to the
    National Academy of Science at 93% atheists or agnostics.
    Leading scientists still reject God
    Of the NAS biologists who responded, only 5.5% believed in God. Compare almost all founders of modern science believed in God. That sounds like modern self selection.

  77. MacNeill @ 46:
    “Here is when the domain name “expelledthemovie” was registered at TUCOWS INC.:

    http://whois.domaintools.com/expelledthemovie.com

    That is, March 1, 2007.”

    Mr.MacNeill, like I informed larrynormanfan, who also provided another similar link, the accuracy of the information presented, according to Tucows, is not guaranteed.

    So who knows for sure when the domain name was really registered.

  78. PZ was paid $US 1200 for his interview. Presumable there was a contract that would have included a phrase that the interview was the property of the film makers, to use as they saw fit. I think $1200 is OK pay for a few hours of talking off the cuff, on a subject you like talking about. It is even better to get paid and not have your interview in the film.

  79. idnet.com.au – your comment implies a strange sort of morality, where one can lie to people as long as you pay them enough.

  80. Bob OH, I simply made the point that there was a contract, they were all well paid, and that the contract would have included a clause allowing use in any context. Once you sell your car you cannot dictate how it is used.

    Without knowing the people involved, I am unable to say what was said by whom and to whom, or to judge who is or is not a liar. It is possible for people to feel misled without having been told lies.

    Darwinists mislead people all the time, that there is no controversy over design in biology. They say ID is unfalsifiable AND that it has been falsified. They say there is NO evidence for Intelligent Design.

    This film is considered by some to be a ballanced coverage of what happenned. To others it is a distortion. We must wait for the “ordinary man” who has little agenda, to really judge how biased it is. In ID we trust ordinary people to judge. Those on the inside with the pertinent information throw insults back and forth. ID seeks to speak plain truth to the average person. They can sniff a lie when they hear one.

    Unfortunately in Australia, we will have to wait for the DVD I suspect.

  81. Allen “we expect people to tell the truth about what they are doing, rather than to lie repeatedly for the sake of producing propaganda. silly me…”

    If those interview for the film had known how their words would be used, would they have refused to be inteviewed? PZ said on his blog that he would have just asked for a lot more money!

    Do they claim that they did not say what is in the film, or that they were not telling the truth when they spoke, or something else? I don’t get it.

  82. Ahhh! … I wrote to Expelled about a month back, asking for info about Australian releases (so this may be pertinent to other similar countries) and to date I haven’t received a reply.

    “Unfortunately in Australia, we will have to wait for the DVD I suspect.” Yep, idnet.com.au, that was going to be my fear as well. I hope the Expelled crew get to read this: evolutionary dogmatism is world wide, so open up the issue to the world! Other non-US readers please raise your hand …

    Allen_MacNeill, don’t get your knickers in such a knot. Obviously the name ‘Expelled’ is a better moniker than the tame ‘Crossroads’. I’m sure the working title [The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as Taken from the 'Journal of the Whills': Saga I] was thankfully dropped to just Star Wars, without affecting the on-screen stuff! Yep, they may have changed it to ensure that more ‘names’ would sign up for an interview, but if their words are fairly presented, then what is the FEAR? That all the combined brilliace, gift of the gab and scientific might will somehow come unstuck at the hands of a comedian with a microphone? Get a spine.

    I am amazed at so many references of, “I’m going to get a lawyer!!!” Dear me. In the US it is certainly looking like ‘The Law’ is becoming as powerful as ‘Science’. I wonder when Truth can be navigated with the aid of a beer instead of vitriol and litigation.

  83. DLH asked (in #71):

    “Will your Department actually allow fair consideration of models allowing for and testing intelligent causes?”

    Yes, if the testing involves empirical testing of a clearly falsifiable hypothesis. So far, no such research has been published by any ID supporter anywhere. Michael Behe, Gugliermo Gonzalez, and William Dembski have done no such thing. All they have published is untestable speculation without empirical confirmation, consisting primarily of mathematical models without empirical verification and dubious applicability.

    When ID supporters start publishing field and laboratory research in peer reviewed journals we will have something to debate. Until then, this is all just speculation. Or, as Phillip Johnson, the “founder” of the ID movement has said:

    “I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable. Working out a positive theory is the job of the scientific people that we have affiliated with the movement. Some of them are quite convinced that it’s doable, but that’s for them to prove…No product is ready for competition in the educational world.”

    http://sciencereview.berkeley......=evolution

  84. Allen_MacNeill: When ID supporters start publishing field and laboratory research in peer reviewed journals we will have something to debate.

    Nice. Am I the only one who finds this statement incredibly ironic given this thread’s subject?

    Allen_MacNeill: Yes, if the testing involves empirical testing of a clearly falsifiable hypothesis. So far, no such research has been published by any ID supporter anywhere.

    I’m convinced that it is not overly simplistic to boil down the two competing theories to the following:

    - ID infers design where it observes IC and/or FSCI.

    - Darwinism infers macroevolution where it observes similarity.

    I think there exists a double standard at this point. ID is expected to do more than show empirical evidence of IC or FSCI, it is expected to defend its inference. On the other hand, Darwinism gets a free ride on its inference, with evidence showing similarity automatically accepted as empirical evidence for Darwinism.

    Admittedly, this is just the perspective of a layman. I’m open to being shown otherwise.

    Allen_MacNeil: This is a classic diversionary tactic in rhetoric as well: if one has no substantive rebuttal, then change the subject.

    This raises an interesting question. With your “liar” charges here, are you making a substantive rebuttal against the film’s main premise regarding academic persecution? Or are you using a classical diversionary tactic?

  85. Allen MacNeill:

    If you would like to see some “empirical testing of a clearly falsifiable hypothesis,” then the ID community can certainly oblige with a few hypotheses that should be testable using currently available techniques. Here are a few ways of falsifying ID, off the top of my head.

    (1) Identify some property of DNA that is: (a) clearly sub-optimal; and (b) found in all living organisms (and hence likely to have been present in the original Ur-cell at the dawn of life). [By a "clearly sub-optimal" property, I mean a property P that actually HAMPERS one of the functions that DNA is supposed to perform in organisms, so that it would be possible for scientists to IMPROVE the design of DNA by engineering a slightly better molecule instantiating property Q rather than P, which was able to perform at least one of DNA's functions better than DNA itself, and all of DNA's other functions at least as well as DNA does.] ID implies that there should be NO such property, since there is no conceivable reason why an intelligent designer would choose a less-than-ideal molecule to serve as the mechanism of heredity.

    (2) Establish the existence of a window of time, however narrow, during the Earth’s history, during which: (a) no DNA-based cellular life-forms were yet in existence on the Earth; and (b) the environmental conditions on the primordial Earth would have allowed DNA-based cellular life-forms to survive and reproduce; AND subsequent to which, there were NO cataclysms (e.g. the impact of a Mars-sized body) that would have wiped out all life on Earth. The idea here is that an intelligent designer would have created life at the earliest available opportunity. A naturalistic hypothesis of the origin of life predicts an interval between the appearance of life-friendly conditions and the emergence of life. Research to date supports the ID hypothesis: see http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_.....072006.php . The article also briefly describes how scientists currently go about ascertaining the presence of life in ancient rocks.

    (3) FRONT-LOADING is one version of ID which can readily be tested by scientists. See M. Sherman’s article, “Universal genome in the origin of metazoa: thoughts about evolution” in Cell Cycle, 2007 Aug 1; 6(15):1873-7 for details (or see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/si.....d_RVDocSum for online abstract, which lists two testable predictions).

    (4) To make the foregoing paper a little bit more specific, here’s one prediction I’d make. If front-loading is correct, then ALL multicellular animals (sponges included) should contain an analogue of the eyeless gene found in fruit flies.

    (5) Some ID proponents postulate multiple “interventions” by the intelligent designer, and the Cambrian Explosion is often held up as an example of an abrupt increase in organismic complexity, which, it is claimed, cannot be accounted for by “blind” natural processes (chance, necessity or some combination thereof). IF these ID proponents are right, AND IF this increase in complexity coincides with the appearance of about 30 new animal phyla in the fossil record during the early Cambrian, then: (a) paleontological research should establish that the metazoan phyla – be they chordates or cnidarians – ALL appear at the same time in the fossil record; (b) molecular clock research should be unable to unambiguously identify any one phylum of metazoa as pre-dating any of the others: rather, the phyla should appear to radiate from a common ancestor. The idea here is that an intelligent designer of animal phyla would presumably design them all in one hit, rather than in dribs and drabs.

    I have to admit that the results to date appear to contradict this particular version of ID: according to the Wikipedia article on the Cambrian Explosion at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambrian_explosion , several major modern types of animal did not appear until the LATE Cambrian (490-500 million years ago), while at the other extreme, moderately complex animals such as triploblastic bilaterians seem to have appeared 580-600 million years ago.

    Not being a biologist, I cannot comment on predictions (1) to (4). I would be interested to hear what Dr. Allen MacNeill has to say regarding these.

  86. Phinehas asked (in #83):

    “With your “liar” charges here, are you making a substantive rebuttal against the film’s main premise regarding academic persecution? Or are you using a classical diversionary tactic?”

    The point I have been trying to make since my very first post is precisely the point that the main premise of the film “Expelled” — that ID supporters/evolution critics are unfairly “expelled” from academic discussions — is, in fact, a deliberate falsification.

    I have presented as evidence the fact ID supporters/evolution critics are regularly invited to make presentations at my evolution courses at Cornell, and have done so repeatedly in the past. However, this fact was deliberately omitted from the film.

    In brief, the central premise of the film “Expelled” is a deliberate lie, a lie that was perpetrated on all of the evolutionary biologists who were invited to participate of whom I am aware.

    What other conclusion would you draw from this evidence?

  87. I still don’t see how the fact that “expelledthemovie” was registered in March, while interviews were conducted in April and May, makes a slam-dunk case for the inference that “the producers lied to me.”

    When I searched for “crossroads,” I learned that the name is already registered. Whois then suggested several permutations and combinations of names involving “crossroads” which were available for $9.95 each.

    Why wouldn’t the producers have preemptively registered a number of domain names (including but not limited to “expelledthemovie”)? That would buy them some time to maybe do some marketing research about what name might work best.

    Evidently they settled on “Expelled.” Were they then obliged to notify everyone they had interviewed that they had settled on this name?

  88. if flat-earthers came up w/ big bucks, and wrangled an interview w/ John Wheeler, I think Wheeler would be in his lab, or nestled in his bed, and not go to a screening of the movie;

  89. —–Allen MacNeill writes,” I have presented as evidence the fact ID supporters/evolution critics are regularly invited to make presentations at my evolution courses at Cornell, and have done so repeatedly in the past. However, this fact was deliberately omitted from the film.”

    A film that sets out to dramatize the problem of academic suppression should not minimize its impact by providing contrary examples to its own theme. Allen MacNeill is a glorious and welcome exception to the rule, but this film is not about exceptions. While I do care about the way the films producers treated Dr. MacNeill, I care more about the big picture.

    The problem is that Ben Stein and Allen MacNeill have presented two different accounts of reality, and they both can’t be right. If Stein is right, then the oppression is widespread and somebody needs to tell the story; if MacNeill is right, then the movie is, indeed, a propaganda piece. So, the question is this: Which of these two men is telling us the truth? More to the point, which of these men is even in a position to know the truth?

    McNeil is on the inside and has obviously interacted with other educators, so he would know something of their attitudes. His experience with them may or may not be representative of the big picture. We know that, in his case, the movie’s theme does not apply. He has opened up a meaningful dialogue with the ID community and seems to tolerate respectful dissent from his students. I am persuaded, though, that he is an anomaly. Further, I think his defense of the Darwinist community is wishful thinking and perhaps even a little self serving. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose by maintaining solidarity with his colleagues.

    Ben Stein, on the other hand, has everything to lose by telling his story. He has been vilified, lampooned, and hated, even on his own website. Why would he put up with all this abuse unless he was on to something? Yes, I know, he will make some money– maybe– but I don’t think that is what is driving him. I think he is motivated because he has learned facts that McNeil could have no way of knowing about. Having cast his net wide enough to reach the international community, Stein is in a better position than McNeil to understand the big picture.

    I find Ben Stein credible not just because he seems sincere but also because his experiences are somewhat similar to my own and others that I have heard about. All of this is anecdotal, of course, but there are probably a lot more cases than we haven’t heard about. With all due respect to Dr. MacNeill, I think he is placing too much emphasis on his own experience and too little emphasis on the big picture. I submit that Darwinist thought police are chilling speech, persecuting dissenters, and ruining careers. How can the movie be a “lie” if all these things are really happening?

  90. Alan_MacNeill at 82
    Re: “Will your Department actually allow fair consideration of models allowing for and testing intelligent causes?”

    Yes, if the testing involves empirical testing of a clearly falsifiable hypothesis.

    Thank you for your affirmation of the objective science.

    When ID supporters start publishing field and laboratory research in peer reviewed journals we will have something to debate.

    Respectfully, this sounds like pro experimental anti theoretical bias.

    Surely theoreticians such as Einstein should be allowed to form theories building on experimentalists data.

    I believe you belittle Michael Behe. He has modeled evolution. e.g.,
    Behe M.J., Snoke D.W. 2004. Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues. Protein Sci13:2651-2664.

    Among the 16 citations, see:

    Michael Lynch, Simple Evolutionary pathways to complex proteins
    Protein Sci. 2005 14: 2217-2225

    Then see: Michael J. Behe and David W. Snoke, A response to Michael Lynch Protein Sci. 2005 14: 2226-2227

    Behe and Snoke respond to Lynch clarifying/correcting his critique.

    Behe then combines his results with numerous other experimental results to posit
    * The Edge of Evolution, Free Press, June 2007. ISBN 0-743-29620-6

    Behe posits an “edge of evolution” of about two cellular protein-protein binding sites developed by random mutation/natural selection in about 10^30 organisms. Compare about 10,000 protein-protein sites in a cell, where there have been fewer than 10^40 organisms during the entire history of the earth. (See p142-144.)

    . . .Other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be . . .a double CCC … 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the past four billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable. With the criterion of two protein-protein binding sites, we can quickly see why stupendously complex structures such as the cilium, the flagellum, and the machinery that builds them are beyond Darwinian evolution.” (p 146)

    i.e., Compared to Darwin’s meager data, Behe examines the largest data sets in existence – of malaria and HIV mutations. Behe observes ((p 161-162):

    all possible unintelligent processes in the cell – both ones we’ve discovered so far and ones we haven’t – at best have extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. . . .Nothing — neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization, self-engineering, nor any other process as yet undiscovered — was of much use. . . . With a billion times the firepower of the puny labs that humans run, the M-H (malaria-HIV) experiment has scoured the planet looking for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to build coherent biological machinery and has found absolutely nothing.

    Behe has provided a quantitative model of the limits of neo-Darwinian random mutation with natural selection.
    Beyond that, the complexity of the cell is most reasonably explained by design.

    I submit that Behe has laid down a quantitative gauntlet for neo-Darwinian theory based on the best available evidence.

    It is now up to neo-Darwinists to quantitatively overcome these objections.

    In the mean time, ID will be developing predictive explanatory models.

    {DLH PS Corrected “He has published experimental results” to He has modeled evolution” per Allen_MacNeill’s correction at 94 below.}

  91. 91

    Here’s a quantitative critique: Joanna Masel1 (2006), “Cryptic Genetic Variation Is Enriched for Potential Adaptations,” Genetics 172: 1985-1991. The author argues:

    In summary, not only is cryptic genetic variation not significantly eroded by the accumulation of deleterious mutations, but instead it is positively enriched for potential adaptations. The minimum condition for enrichment is that selection on hidden lethals is appreciable, and the optimal condition is when selection on unhidden potentially adaptive alleles is highly effective. Enrichment is weak with respect to potential adaptations resulting from a single mutation, but is dramatic for potential adaptations based on a combination of mutations. This provides a powerful mechanism for achieving an adaptation involving multiple mutations when each mutation, taken by itself, is deleterious. This gives a rigorous basis to previous speculations that adaptive combinations of mutations may appear more readily when variation is subject to weakened selection (KOCH 1972; TRUE and LINDQUIST 2000; HARRISON and GERSTEIN 2002). Recent models of the rate of obtaining an adaptive combination of mutations (BEHE and SNOKE 2004; LYNCH 2005) are therefore substantial underestimates, since they do not take this enrichment into account.

  92. 92

    Here’s a link to the article mentioned above.

  93. Behe shows that the malaria and HIV experiment includes ALL variations in nature, not just those people can speculate about.

    Darwinian writers appear to have little conception of the astronomical magnitudes of specified complexity involved.

    Combine Behe’s analysis of the limit of two protein evolution with
    The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories
    Stephen C. Meyer, PROCEEDINGS OF THE BIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON, 117(2):213-239. 2004

    Diatribes against his paper fail to quantitatively address the serious issues Meyer’s raises. Meyer reveals many many more orders of magnitude of complex information arising rapidly in the Cambrian explosion in a very much shorter time scale.

    Then, beginning about 570-565 million years ago (mya), the first complex multicellular organisms appeared in the rock strata, including sponges, cnidarians, and the peculiar Ediacaran biota (Grotzinger et al. 1995). Forty million years later, the Cambrian explosion occurred (Bowring et al. 1993). The emergence of the Ediacaran biota (570 mya), and then to a much greater extent the Cambrian explosion (530 mya), represented steep climbs up the biological complexity gradient.

    Yet, second, fossil data (Bowring et al. 1993, 1998a:1, 1998b:40; Kerr 1993; Monatersky 1993), and even molecular analyses supporting deep divergence (Wray et al. 1996), suggest that the duration of the Cambrian explosion (between 5-10 x 10^6 and, at most, 7 x 1^07 years) is far smaller than that of the entire universe (1.3-2 x 10^10 years).

    Take then the combination of Behe with Meyers as the challenge. These barriers are astronomically far beyond anything neo-Darwinism has seriously addressed, let alone demonstrated. The rest are a collection of “Just-so stories”

  94. “WITHOUT requiring that the agent’s identify be specified?”

    I find this bizarre requirement you have most baffling.

    It would be like a scientist walking into a conference claiming to have discovered how radio waves worked.

    But when asked to specify how they work, he replies “how dare you demand such a thing of me, oppressors!”

    Any purported “explanation” of something must, you know, explain how it worked. That doesn’t mean that you have to tell us that the designer was named Tim, but it does mean that you have to explain what general capacities and methods it employed to do what it did, and how you can know fro the evidence on the ground that these were, in fact, the specific procedures, methods, and events that occurred.

    Claiming that a being that could potentially do anything did it in an unknown way is just a polite way of rephrasing “I have no idea how it happened.”

  95. StephenB #87

    A film that sets out to dramatize the problem of academic suppression should not minimize its impact by providing contrary examples to its own theme. Allen MacNeill is a glorious and welcome exception to the rule, but this film is not about exceptions. While I do care about the way the films producers treated Dr. MacNeill, I care more about the big picture.

    Consider, please, the proposition that the “big picture” should be honest, fair and balanced. As you so eloquently point out, that is not the character of this film.

  96. DLH rote (in #88):

    “I believe you belittle Michael Behe. He has published experimental research.”

    Nope. The paper you reference is not “experimental” in any way. It’s a mathematical simulation, based on flawed assumptions, with no empirical data of any kind.

  97. DLH also wrote (in #88):

    “Behe has provided a quantitative model of the limits of neo-Darwinian random mutation with natural selection.” (emphasis added -ADM)

    Precisely; Dr. Behe has never done any empirical research on any of the ID topics about which he has written. All he has done is to formulate a couple of mathematical models based on highly questionable assumptions.

    The same is true for Dr. Dembski’s mathematical treatment of “complex specified information”. It is a mathematical model, pure and simple, with no empirical verification of any kind. Indeed, when asked to provide an empirical example, he replied:

    “You’re asking me to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC [irreducibly complex] systems that is what ID is discovering.”

    http://www.iscid.org/boards/ub.....2-p-3.html

    This link is to a discussion thread at ISCID, an organization that is now apparently moribund, with only DaveScot and Jon Davison posting intermittently for the last year or so.

  98. Allen_MacNeill: The point I have been trying to make since my very first post is precisely the point that the main premise of the film “Expelled” — that ID supporters/evolution critics are unfairly “expelled” from academic discussions — is, in fact, a deliberate falsification.

    I have presented as evidence the fact ID supporters/evolution critics are regularly invited to make presentations at my evolution courses at Cornell, and have done so repeatedly in the past.

    That’s it? You claim based on a single data point that the movie’s premise is a deliberate falsification? Is it not at all possible that both A) ID supporters/evolution critcs have been unfairly expelled from academic discussions and B) this hasn’t beeen the case at Cornell are both true?

    If not, then how would it not be valid for me to say that I’ve falsified your claims by showing a single data point where discrimination has occured?

    I seriously hope that this kind of sloppy thinking is not the sort of thing you practic in your classes at Cornell.

    Allen_MacNeill: However, this fact was deliberately omitted from the film.

    Of course it was deliberately omitted. It was irrelevant to the premise of the movie.

    You seem to be operating under one or both of the following assumptions:

    - If academic discrimination against ID supporters isn’t universal, then it obviously doesn’t exist.

    OR

    - The movie Expelled is not simply out to show the existence of such discrimination, but that it is universal.

    I don’t believe either of the above is valid. Your interview would certainly be applicable to a claim that academic discrimination is universal, but it is irrelevant to a claim that academic discrimination exists, is it not?

    Unless you have some other proof for your falsification claim, I fail to see how the discerning reader is to find it convncing in the least.

  99. Allan_MacNeill at 94
    mea culpa re:

    “I believe you belittle Michael Behe. He has published experimental research.”

    Nope. The paper you reference is not “experimental” in any way. It’s a mathematical simulation, based on flawed assumptions, with no empirical data of any kind.

    You are right that Behe and Snope were modeling in this paper.

    I was probably thinking of Ralph Seelke

    “We’ve tested at least 1.1 trillion cells for their ability to evolve, when two mutations are required. So far, they can’t.”

    Ralph Seelke, What Can Evolution Really Do? How Microbes Can Help Us with the Answer. Paper & Powerpoint.

    We’ve checked approximately 1.1 trillion cells for evolution, when two changes are required; it hasn’t happened yet. We’ve allowed cultures to evolve for ~1300 generations; one culture devolved- lost the gene! Two other have yet to show the ability to make tryptophan.”

    PS Behe has other experimental papers. e.g. Oligoadenosine Tracts Favor Nucleosome Formation Haleh Mahloogi and Michael J. Behe, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol. 235, Issue 3, 27 June 1997, Pages 663-668

  100. 100

    Wow. To bolster the non-experimental publications of Behe, you offer . . . the un-published experiments of Seelke.

    Who’s supposed to be wowed by this? Apparently an audience that likes a talk beginning “Hello- I’m Ralph Seelke, and I’m a microbiologist. . . . .”

    Well, hello Ralph. Why is your unpublished talk that announces amazing experimental results apparently not worth submitting for publication?

  101. 101

    Yes, Behe has experimental publications. He just doesn’t have experimental Intelligent Design publications. Coincidentally, his experimental work declines as his interest in ID rises.

  102. to DLH:

    In his testimony at the Kansas science standards hearings in 2005, Seelke said,

    And so at this– last year at this time I was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and I basically built some molecules. I made some changes in a gene and I put in one mutation, two mutations, three mutations, and four mutations all in different types of that gene. All mutations inactuate the gene. And so if this– and then– and now I’m in the process– I only have ten– I only have ten billion cells that I’m looking at which is whoosy in this field. I wouldn’t publish this until I had probably 10 to 100 trillion,…

    That is, he had 1000 to 10,000 times too few cells to publish.

    However, even with this little data, when Board chair Steve Abrams asked,

    Q. (BY CHAIRMAN ABRAMS) Are you saying that the evolution in the bacteria that you are doing and the other experiments that you have been describing are actually adding genetic material?

    Seelke replied,

    A. What I would do– now, the ones that I am doing, you would be– you would be– yes, you would– that is a– there is a small addition– right, there’s an addition of capabilities that occurs. Now, if I– for instance, if I take my gene and I have one mistake in it and by random processes that one mistake can be fixed. And I think you would say that, yes, that cell is better and it has gained a little bit of information. It is– it hasn’t– this is a small gain that produces a very large change. The gene that I’m looking at has 268 amino acids, 267 of them are right. Okay. There’s one mistake. There’s one base change causing one amino acid change and the thing is broke. And so, yeah, I’m making one change. Has that cell gained information? It would appear, yes, that it has gained information. Not a lot of information.

    So I don’t think it’s valid to claim that Seelke has done research which supports ID.

    But, to Seelke’s credit,he was trying to get experimental data to support his ideas about the limits of evolution, which is more than Behe has done. And it’s worth noting that as far as I know Seelke wasn’t expelled from anything for doing his work.

  103. Jack Krebs at 101
    Perhaps Seelke “wasn’t expelled from anything for doing his work”. However, could you please explain why Ralph Seelke has to prominently declare at the top of his web page:

    The contents of these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of UW-Superior and are not officially endorsed by the university.

    if not political correctness being imposed by Darwinian orthodoxy?

    Whatever happened to:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. First Amendment US Constitution.

    It will be instructive to find out why Seelke is featured in Expelled:

    I’m in a MOVIE! (at least, I’m in the super-trailer). I gave an interview in Nov. 2006, about my research and some of the events that led to my sabbatical at Stanford. It’s part of a major documentary that’s coming out this spring. http://www.expelledthemovie.com/playground.php is the link

  104. 104

    Perhaps the disclaimer is necessary because the contents of the page contains a lot of religious content. As a state institution, the university can’t “endorse” a religious view.

  105. I didn’t know Seelke was going to be in Expelled. I’ll be interested in seeing why also.

  106. to LNF: I don’t think that’s it. I just checked Keith Miller’s home page at Kansas State University. He has a lot of religious stuff on his page as well as stuff related directly to his work with the university, and I don’t think there is a problem. Seelke’s university may have a different policy, or Seelke may feel that the disclaimer is necessary because of work in the ID community even though his university doesn’t care whether he has a disclaimer or not, or some other situation.

  107. Based on the responses to my earlier post, (about the movie, “Expelled”) I take it that we are all now in agreement. The examples presented in the movie are true. Further, I gather we have abandoned Allen MacNeill’s argument, which may be summarized as follows: “I don’t do it, therefore it doesn’t happen.”

  108. Larrynormanfan 103

    That is fascinating, considering the organic law on which that University was founded was Art 3 of the NorthWest Ordinance:

    Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. . .

    They seem to have forgotten their raison d’etre

  109. Allen_MacNeill at 95
    Behe appears to be affirming
    Barry Hall:

    “..A very general problem of molecular adaptive evolution: How is an advantageous phenotype selected when it requires multiple mutations, none of which are advantageous until all are present?… (This presents) a barrier that would appear to be difficult when two independent random mutations are required to improve fitness, and insuperable when more than two are required”.

    (italics added) Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 88: 5882-5886, July 1991
    as cited by Seelke

    Jack Krebs at 101
    See Seelke’s more recent presentation:
    Seelke in What can evolution really do, April 27, 2007

    What happens when you try to evolve the one with 2 mutations?
    It doesn’t evolve to make tryptophan, not in:
    3600 generations
    >2 trillion cells

    A requirement for two mutations for evolution to occur remains an evolution-stopper.
    Even when a single mutation (in theory) results in a fitness advantage, other mutations may place it on a fitness peak that precludes further evolution.

  110. 110

    Jack Krebs, I was spitballing as to why. I really don’t know. I do recall lots of people putting disclaimers at the tail end of postings back in the heyday of Usenet groups.

    DLH, I note with interest the part immediately following your ellipsis:

    The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed . . .

    I’d say that part fared even worse than the part you quoted.

  111. larrynormanfan 109
    Yes, to our collective shame.

  112. 112

    StephenB, I think you’re overly optimistic. I have no idea whether the examples presented in the movie are true, having not myself seen the film yet. I do think Allen’s experience strongly suggests that the producers of Expelled were interested in painting a one-sided picture without complicating examples even when such examples are readily available: a good description of propaganda, if true.

    Here’s a question: does the movie show any people like Allen, or are all the examples of behavior on the other side negative? If the latter, I’d say Allen has a point.

  113. Has Seelke published his latest results? Sounds like now he has enough data.

  114. Allen_MacNeill at 95

    All he has done is to formulate a couple of mathematical models based on highly questionable assumptions.

    If the model is sound, does it not apply whether or not a person has done experimental research? eg. Einstein?
    Seelke’s results affirm Michael Behe’s Edge of Evolution with Stephen Meyers paper.

    What of Behe’s model do you find “questionable”?

  115. —–Jack Krebs: “I just checked Keith Miller’s home page at Kansas State University. He has a lot of religious stuff on his page as well as stuff related directly to his work with the university, and I don’t think there is a problem.”

    Jack: I don’t think you sufficiently understand the rules of the Darwinist community. It’s perfectly all right to talk about religion and evolution as long as you are not pro-ID. Theistic evolutionists, for example, are given complete freedom of speech and unlimited access to research facilities. That is because they persecute ID and deny the reality of design in nature. Keith Miller attributes everything to the Darwinian mechanism and nothing to intelligent agency. That is what counts. I hope that helps.

  116. Bad at 92

    Claiming that a being that could potentially do anything did it in an unknown way is just a polite way of rephrasing “I have no idea how it happened.”

    Precisely.
    That is Clarke’s 3rd law:

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    I may be able to detect that an intelligent agent did something without being able to say how he did it, or who he is.

    For example see John Kanzius burning salt water. What if the equipment and experimenter were hidden and all you saw was the beaker burning salt water on/off in response to a command?

  117. Phin: Of course it was deliberately omitted. It was irrelevant to the premise of the movie.

    Leo: Not to speak for Allen, who seems quite capable of doing so for himself, but I think the word you are looking for is inconvenient

    I freely admit to using the wrong word from time to time. But I’m pretty sure I meant irrelevant here.

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, so maybe I’m wrong in this, but I’ve never gotten the impression the film was out to show that academic discrimination happens on every campus at all times. I’m pretty sure the film is meant to show that academic discrimination against some ID supporters exists and is an issue that should be exposed.

    If I set out to show in a film that academic discrimination exists and to tell some of the stories that expose its ugliness, I imagine that I would interview all sorts of professors. The fact that some of those professors report that their particular institution has not participated in academic discrimination is neither convenient nor inconvenient to my film. It is irrelevant.

    Now, if Allen MacNeill claimed in his interview (and had proof to back up the claim) that there is no academic discrimination occuring at any institution or program, that would be inconvenient. Is anyone claiming that this is what Allen MacNeill said/demonstrated in his interview?

  118. Jack Krebs: Here’s a question: does the movie show any people like Allen, or are all the examples of behavior on the other side negative?If the latter, I’d say Allen has a point.

    I don’t get this. It seems to me that you are setting an unreasonable bar of expectations here that I bet wouldn’t be set given a different subject matter.

    Look, if I were out to make a film about how cruel, overt racism still exists in many small southern towns, could my piece be easily dismissed as propoganda if I didn’t include an interview with some sheriff who claims in his particular town he embraces affirmative action? I mean, it seems to me that including or excluding the interview would fall well within my artistic license depending upon what my film set out to demonstrate, would it not?

    Dismissive claims of propoganda would be just that. Dismissive. Not addressing the content of my film. Avoiding the real issue.

  119. I don’t have a publicly available quote on hand but I remember hearing via private email exchanges that the ID proponents who were interviewed were similarly not given a full explanation of the producer’s long term intentions. I think Sal Cordova was one of them? So if it’s true that Allen was “misled” or “lied to” then so were the ID proponents being interviewed.

    If they were “lying” to everyone, does that make it much better? Not really in my opinion (and, yes, I realize that journalists in general often rely on the interviewee not knowing the interview’s intentions for the final product). The key question is whether they were honestly considering multiple options at the time. It should be easy enough to ask them whether they ever registered a domain for Crossroads or any other potential title.

    Also, I remember when news of the film first became public there was a general tone of wariness until it became known whether the movie would be “good”. The producers were keeping their cards close to their chests the whole time.

    Personally, until I see the film I’m withholding judgment but I have told people I know it’s “probably” worth seeing.

  120. —–larrynormanfan: “Here’s a question: does the movie show any people like Allen, or are all the examples of behavior on the other side negative? If the latter, I’d say Allen has a point.

    He has a tiny point. I think he is about 10% right and about 90% wrong. That’s the way I nuanced it at post number 87. The fact remains that he has no evidence to support his claim that the stories in the film were “fabricated.” That is a reckless thing to say.

  121. Hi Patrick,
    Here’s the first I heard of the movie, and the DI’s trepidation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....e_abo.html

  122. Jack @ 115 – there’s nothing for Seelke R* in Web of Science for the last 5 years, so that’s a “no”. Of course, it could be that he has something submitted but it hasn’t been published yet.

    StephenB @122 –

    The fact remains that he has no evidence to support his claim that the stories in the film were “fabricated.”

    Where does Allen say this? The only place in this thread I can find “fabricated” is in your post (oh, there’s one more now. :-)). And looking through Allen’s comments, he has almost nothing to say about the contents of the film, and certainly nothing about the stories.

  123. —–Bob O’H: “Where does Allen say this? The only place in this thread I can find “fabricated” is in your post (oh, there’s one more now. :-)). And looking through Allen’s comments, he has almost nothing to say about the contents of the film, and certainly nothing about the stories.”

    Here is what Dr. MacNeill says at #87.

    “The point I have been trying to make since my very first post is precisely the point that the main premise of the film “Expelled” — that ID supporters/evolution critics are unfairly “expelled” from academic discussions — is, in fact, a deliberate falsification.”

  124. I don’t have a publicly available quote on hand but I remember hearing via private email exchanges that the ID proponents who were interviewed were similarly not given a full explanation of the producer’s long term intentions. I think Sal Cordova was one of them? So if it’s true that Allen was “misled” or “lied to” then so were the ID proponents being interviewed.

    That is correct.

    I was filmed for the movie as well…

    The ID side were given the same line that this was for the documentary “Crossroads”.

    I felt uncomfortable with the way they secured the interviews as it did not seem completely forthright and appeared deceptive.

    Although, at this point, if there is a question of the ethics of how evidence was gathered, it will probably increase the publc interest to see the movie. Have I ever lost interest in a journalistic piece because the journalist lied in order to acquire facts (like Celeste Biever)? I can’t recall that I ever had less interest as a result…

  125. DLH asked (at #105):

    “The contents of these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of UW-Superior and are not officially endorsed by the university.”

    That’s a standard boilerplate disclaimer, commonly used when members of a university faculty have a blog that is not officially sponsored by their department. I have essentially the same kind of disclaimer in the masthead for my blog:

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/

    It’s just smart business practice.

  126. OK, thanks StephenB. So he didn’t use the word “fabricate” (so why did you put it in quotation marks?), and he didn’t comment about the stories in Expelled, but rather about the main premise.

  127. scordova @ 126:
    “I was filmed for the movie as well…

    The ID side were given the same line that this was for the documentary “Crossroads”.

    I felt uncomfortable with the way they secured the interviews as it did not seem completely forthright and appeared deceptive.”

    Your statements, scordova, completely annihilate the unfounded assertion that the motives of the producers were propagandistic in nature, and at the same time show that ingenious interview techniques were democratically used to get at the bottom of an emotionally-charged amd polarizing issue. These tactics are similar, I guess, to how researchers use placebo pills.

    For one thing, the movie is also an examination of the sociological and psychological side to a brewing controversy. It is well known in social science that behavior is best explored when participants are unaware they are being particularly studied.

  128. Allen MacNeill has made the accusation of “dishonesty” against the amkers of “Expelled”.

    Has Allen seen “Inherit the Wind”?

    That’s was about as dishonest of a representation as one can get.

    How about the PBS series “Evolution”?

    Again about as dishonest as one can get. The only Creationists they put on was a church service. Not one scientist was allowed to speak on Creation. And not one scientists was allowed to speak on ID.

    To larrynormanfan,

    What experiments demonstrate that the changes required for universal common descent are even possible?

    How about that lowly bacterial flagellum- what experiments demonstrate that it can arise via non-telic processes?

  129. Could it be that the name of the film changed from Crossroads to Expelled because of the research and interviews?

    I would say that is a very reasonable possibility.

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