Home » Intelligent Design » Dawkins, Myers, and what R.S.V.P. means

Dawkins, Myers, and what R.S.V.P. means

R.S.V.P. is an abbreviation for the French “répondez s’il vous plaît” which means “please respond” and traditionally is appended on invitations so that the host knows who and how many guests to expect.

Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers are running around saying they weren’t “gate crashers” at a pre-screening of “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. But that’s exactly what they were. PZ Myers claims he went through the same process to get a reservation for himself and a number of guests as all the other guests by going here

Expelled – RSVP System

ADDENDA: 3/25 There is no way to get to the URL above from the main page www.getexpelled.com. The above is not a publicized address. The links from the main page all go to TOUR BUS events not movie screenings.

The sticking point is that Myers was never invited. Myers RSVP’d to an invitation he never received. He fooled the host by gaming the invitation/response system employed. The host wasn’t checking RSVPs against a list of invitations sent out but rather just assumed that any RSVP received was in response to an invitation sent out. One could possibly say this was due to Myers’ ignorance of what RSVP means but he seems to be “As Smart as a 5th Grader” so that’s not a credible excuse. The only other alternative is Myers’ purposely and knowingly deceived the host which of course means Myers is dishonest. THAT is credible.

One might blame how this was allowed to happen on the naivety of the producers in trusting that RSVPs would be received only from invited guests. Honest people don’t tend to think like thieves so it might not have occurred to them that RSVPs would be received under false pretenses. But that still doesn’t excuse Myers’ dishonesty.

Richard Dawkins isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed but even so it’s hard to believe he believed that Myers was an invited guest but the possibility exists that Myers duped him into believing he was a legitimate participant in the pre-screening so I’ll reserve judgement on Dawkins for the nonce in this one case.

The question remains as to why Myers was singled out of a crowd waiting to get in when a more notorious and easily recognized skunk at the garden party (Dawkins) was not. I’d guess it’s because Myers was vigorously exercising his anti-religious potty mouth loud enough to offend other guests and someone complained while the other members in Myers’ anti-Christ crusader party were exercising a modicum of discretion. That’s just my working theory and it could be wrong but I wouldn’t bet even money on it being wrong. Too bad Myers doesn’t have the stones to be honest about his indescretions. Real men ‘fess up when caught pulling sophomoric stunts but I guess Myers can’t play it down by saying something whimsical like “Sorry, the devil made me do it.” :lol:

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80 Responses to Dawkins, Myers, and what R.S.V.P. means

  1. Also, please see Substantiate your assertion, PZ in which I challenge PZ Myers to produce his invitation, or evidence that “just about everybody” was gate-crashing.

  2. It should also be noted that Glen Davidson admitted that:

    I found their rsvp site and I stuck it on this site, at Talkorigins, on AtBC, at Pharyngula, and at PT[Panda’s 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.

    It should also be noted that PZ participates at two or more of these blogs.

  3. The front page of the public website http://getexpelled.com/ has a link called “Events & Tours”. Following that link leads to a page with the following text:

    Motive Entertainment is proud to present THE EXPELLED TOUR which launches on November 26th to promote the upcoming release of EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed. Tour locations are being added every day! You and your community are invited to attend FREE of charge! CLICK HERE to RSVP now at a location near you!

    That certainly seems like a general invitation to the entire community to me. It seems like everyone has been invited. Was the getexpelled.com website supposed to be secret? It certainly doesn’t say “Please only use this website if you have been personally invited” anywhere that I can see.

  4. Please add an “also” between “should” and “be” in the last sentence.
    {DLH corrected}

  5. Not to be glib, but why would PZ Meyers’ response be any different than what it is? From what I have read from him (and his fellows) on his blog, the man has no sense of personal dignity or restraint whatsoever. He is behaving exactly as one might expect him to behave. Dignified manners are borrowed from moral and social constructs wholly removed from his belief system.

  6. 6

    toc, very good point.

  7. 7
    Timothy V Reeves

    Now the question that is bugging me is this: How did the preview organizers manage to expel someone who has been dubbed an 800lb gorilla? They must have had some pretty formidable bouncers.Or was it actually an ID stooge dressed up in a monkey suite to look like PZ in order to give him a bad name?

  8. 8

    Mr Reeves,

    “Or was it actually an ID stooge dressed up in a monkey suite to look like PZ in order to give him a bad name?”

    With all due respect,

    1. This supposibly fits Myer’s “M.O.”
    2. Do you really think the ID community would stoop that low? I don’t.

  9. Dignified manners are borrowed from moral and social constructs wholly removed from his belief system.

    I always wondered if PZ kissed his mother with that potty mouth of his. The only way he could have made more of a spectacle out of himself is if he had resorted to playground tactics like making rude noises or pretending to be hurt.

  10. 10

    I just thought of something. What PZ Myers did may have been some kind of social protest tactic.

    Barging in rudely to ‘protest’ the film and get in the news. You see what I’m saying?

  11. Well, an idea is that PZ and the producers of Expelled are in cahoots with each other to get free publicity. The New York Times even covered the story.

    Now, why PZ wants to bring publicity is another question. I suspect that a wealthy angel investor is in the background waiting to fund a counter film, only the new film will be shown in the public schools.

  12. Talking about 800lb gorillas, maybe the guy looked like one trying to hide his camera and other video equipment under a huge coat, sounding off bell alarms and raising eye brows. Who knows.

  13. 13

    William Wallace,

    I’m pretty much a nobody, but for what it’s worth, I will defend the integrity of people like Dembski and Behe till I’m blue in the face.

    I will not accept that the producers are in cahoots with PZ to make money.

  14. Todd,

    That certainly seems like a general invitation to the entire community to me. It seems like everyone has been invited.

    I don’t see a method to request a RSVP ticket straight from the website? If I’m reading everything right in order to get a ticket you had to know the right web address and that was supposed to remain private. I agree that it was a poor decision to publicly list RSVP viewings if the ticket/invitation process was itself private. In short, the RSVP system was not very secure at all. But that does make what PZ and Dawkins did right?

  15. The RSVP system is used for promotional screenings of other films as well. No invitation is necessary. I was able to see a screening of the film Juno in the same way that members of the public were able to see Expelled.

    One has to wonder why you must resort to “theories” about why Myers “barged” into the screening or why he was thrown out. By eye witness accounts and Mathis’ own admission, Myers was simply booted out because Mathis felt like it. He wasn’t being disruptive nor was he trying to gatecrash the film.

    Here’s a little exercise for you, DaveScot. Go to the Expelled website (getexpelled.com). Click on the “Events and Tours” link. Please read what it says on the page: You and your community are invited to attend FREE of charge! So you and anybody else who clicks on this site (open to the public) are invited. You will then find a link to the RSVP system, one that is very similar to the one that Fox Searchlight uses for its promotional screenings.

    Frankly, trying to taint Myers as being dishonest is very disingenuous. It doesn’t hide the irony of him being booted out of a film that supposedly preaches an openness to alternative ideas.

  16. Patrick. You’re wrong, anyone/everyone could RSVP. They’ve changed the website all this happened.

    As to DaveScot’s “theory” that PZ must have been causing a problems in line, this is false as well. Mathis himself has admitted that he specifically excluded PZ because he wanted him to pay to see it.

  17. 17

    This is all suspicion on my part, but is it possible P.Z Myers plan all along was to get noticed and eventually booted? Could it be part of a setup?, possibly to make the claim this is just another neo-creationist movie intolerable to other belief systems. This is just an assumption on my part, but with P.Z Myers and the rest of his drooling animals, anything is possible.

    I already read a few posts by a blogger on William Wallace’s blog making those exact claims.

  18. DaveScot,

    I have gone to film promotion events in the past, and in my experience, the mechanisms in place to secure tickets are very liberal. Generally, they want audiences to full a theatre. They might target a specific demographic in where they advertise (ie oldies stations for senior oriented films, hard rock stations for flims that target a younger demographic) but never have I experienced a situation where the promoters claim invitations presented en mass have ever *excluded* certain people. Maybe this was an exception – I’d be willing to grant – for special circumstances. Benefit of the doubt.

    And then I read this in Todd’s post above (#3). This is a CLEAR GENERAL INVITATION to anyone reading that web site. Again, along the same lines that I’ve experienced such offerings in the past. Unless he is making that up, this case is cut and dry. The invitations were open to anyone who clicked a link – readers were “invited” to click a link.

    The fact that you – or anyone else – would, in retrospect, bring up the subject of “invitation policy” when such a liberal system was in place all along speaks volumes.

    This level of disingenuousness is astounding. If this issue is a microcosm of how ID conducts itself to get into the public eye, I can completely understand the point that your critics maintain.

  19. Patrick. You’re wrong, anyone/everyone could RSVP. They’ve changed the website all this happened.

    If that’s the case then the Expelled staff made a dumb error when writing the web page since obviously it did not match the intended invitation policy (remember, web admins are usually not management). Unfortunately for the Expelled staff, Myers exploited that error quite publicly. This all sounds like a simple miscommunication (mountain being made out of a molehill). I’m not going to defend this error, since an error is obviously what it is. Perhaps the Expelled staff could apologize for not clearly stating their policy? But I still don’t see why they cannot control who sees these private screenings. There’s nothing to apologize for there.

    Also, in general I think these antics by Myers should be ignored. It’s the job of the PR department for Expelled to respond, not ID proponents.

  20. To get an invitation e-mail, you needed to sign up for e-mails on their website. I did it. I imagine PZ Meyers did it, too. And they’ve substantially changed their website since this whole thing broke (and now I can’t reserve a ticket).

    I hope we all stop defending the Expelled people soon. They are showing themselves up to be hypocrites. They Expelled someone from a movie about Expelling people. Americans mostly don’t pay attention to this debate, but they understand hypocrisy. We, as the intelligent design community, need to stand up and say that the Expelled people don’t represent us. They are an embarrassment, and we should stop defending their actions until they apologize to Mr. Meyers.

    I’ve said in other threads, and I’ll say it here, it doesn’t matter that Meyers is the devil. It doesn’t matter that he’s a bad man. We can’t be hypocrites. We have to be better than them, and the folks at Expelled demonstrated that they are petty hypocrites.

    This is a huge loss for us.

  21. Obviously, the theme of this documentary touches upon an incendiary topic that has strong emotional ties to religion, politics, education, philosophy, etc., and unlike other movies, it is caught up on a social dynamic that is complex, unnerving, and on the verge of a breaking point. Therefore, any comparisons made with other movies don’t really do it any justice.

  22. Dictum of the day!

    If something is private, it cannot be public.

  23. Not only is it a huge loss for you, but the tenor of the preceding comments speaks volumes about what kind of people most of you are.

    Let us grant for the moment that PZ Myers is not a gentleman when describing ID or discussing it. Does that mean that those supporting ID should be just as venal as he is? What kind of witness do you wish to present to the world? That you attack individuals using unsubstantiated hearsay, or that you conduct yourselves at all times as gentlemen who respect their opponents as people at the same time that you attack their ideas?

    When Will Provine and I invited John Sanford to our evolution course at Cornell, we did exactly that. John wrote us a very gentlemanly email in which he thanked us for our courtesy toward him and for the opportunity to let him make a presentation to our students (many of whom, BTW, attacked his ideas vigorously while treating him as a person worthy of respect).

    Reread the comments above and ask yourself: if you had not made up your mind about this subject, would you like to be associated with people like you?

  24. —–Allen MacNeill: “Reread the comments above and ask yourself: if you had not made up your mind about this subject, would you like to be associated with people like you?”

    Some of the most personal, and at other times, blatantly and inappropriately religious statements, come from anti-ID bloggers who like to visit here and pose as ID sympathizeers.

  25. Rather than speculate, how about some facts.
    Eyewitness Stuart Blessman reports
    :

    I just happened to be standing directly in line behind Dawkins’ academic colleague. Management of the movie theatre saw a man apparently hustling and bothering several invited attendees, apparently trying to disrupt the viewing or sneak in. Management then approached the man, asked him if he had a ticket, and when he confirmed that he didn’t, they then escorted him off the premises. Nowhere was one of the film’s producers to be found, and the man certainly didn’t identify himself. If a producer had been nearby, it’s possible that he would have been admitted, but the theatre’s management didn’t want to take any chances.

    ”Richard Dawkins crashes the party at a screening of “Expelled”” By JEFFREY OVERSTREET, ExpelledTheMovie.com March 20, 2008

  26. Nochange wrote:

    To get an invitation e-mail, you needed to sign up for e-mails on their website. I did it. I imagine PZ Meyers did it, too.

    If he did, he should say so. But he hasn’t. He simply discusses how he signed up and received a confirmation email (from an automated RSVP system).

  27. There are two links to expelled viewings. One is labeled “private screenings”

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

    Note the “special” in URL.

    Here is a google cache of the same URL:

    It seems clear there were special Private screenings of Expelled to which the RSVP system might have been gamed.

  28. 28
    Timothy V Reeves

    PannenbergOmega said….

    Mr Reeves,

    “Or was it actually an ID stooge dressed up in a monkey suite to look like PZ in order to give him a bad name?”

    With all due respect,

    1. This supposibly fits Myer’s “M.O.”
    2. Do you really think the ID community would stoop that low? I don’t.

    No I suppose not. It probably helps to believe that one has decended from a common primate ancester before one is prepared to run around with bent back and knuckles dragging on the ground a la 2001 space odyssey. So it must have been PZ after all.

  29. 29
    Timothy V Reeves

    …hhmm…2001 space odyssey. Wasn’t that actually about Intelligent Design…? From an atheist as well!

  30. DLH @ 32,

    Stuart Blessman’s description of Myers’ disruptive and rude behavior is consistent with Myers’ offensive persona, thus confirming our original hunch for why he was shown the exit door.

    It’s almost sad that Myers is so easy to read.

  31. I’ll wait and see if Myers is preparing to sue the theatre for giving him the boot for no specific reason, ’cause we all know Myers’ fondness of the judicial system. If he really was wronged, and he did everything right, legal recourse will show the light day.

  32. Stuart Blessman doesn’t actually say that PZ Myers was the man he saw behaving badly.

  33. Another thing.

    About theatre management, or any other business setting.

    Since when is a contractor responsible for the establishment’s employees (i.e., security personnel), to include their supervision, control and actions?

  34. congregate:
    “Stuart Blessman doesn’t actually say that PZ Myers was the man he saw behaving badly.”

    Oh, so there was another guy with Dawkins that got booted in addition to Myers?

    My, oh my. ACLU is going to have a field day.

    Who is this other ‘Personality Type A’ individual?

  35. 35
    Horace_Worblehat

    Am I the only one to be embarrassed by this fiasco?

    PZ Myers, as I did, accepted an open invitation on the eXpelled website to attend a screening of the movie. The only ‘gaming’ was to read the website and follow instructions. Mathis has acknowledged that he ejected Myers because he wanted him to have to pay full price to see it, with no mention of him being disruptive and bothering anyone.
    The speculation and rumormongering going on here is an embarrassment to the ID movement and we should be ashamed. Whatever PZ Myers may stand for, he was a participant in the movie and quite reasonably wanted to see it. HE SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED A PERSONAL INVITATION FROM MATHIS, as should all the participants. Mathis behaved boorishly and should be called on by the ID community to take the high ground and act with common decency and politeness. He does the cause no good by this behaviour.

  36. Todd Berkebile @ # 3:
    “The front page of the public website http://getexpelled.com/ has a link called “Events & Tours”….That certainly seems like a general invitation to the entire community to me.”

    Mr.Berkebile, the link is in reference to Expelled tours, which are different from the screening events (and private at that) we have been discussing here.

  37. Dr. MacNeill,

    Your comments are reasonable and right, I think. Belligerence is unbecoming and embarrassing. On the ID side of this debate, it probably stems from being cast aside and patently rejected from people like Dawkins, Meyers, and a host of other academics who wish to debunk any ideas not falling in line with their views (Lewontin had something to say about that). Indeed, it is analogous to insubordination in the corporate world. The recent books published by this group are offensive attacks on the alleged morons and dullards who haven’t a clue about Science, and their position within it.

    Some comments posted on this blog are sophomoric, Comments I have read on Dawkins’s site, Meyers’ site, and also on “The Brights” are downright visceral and disgraceful.

    The internet has a similar effect on angry people as does the automobile interior on a busy interstate. The driver can express actual hatred toward someone who gets in his way without losing his teeth from the gesture, but in turn, he only harms and embarrasses himself.

    Readers on this blog should respond positively to your post. And I wonder, have you posted similar admonishments on the other blogs also?

  38. StephenB wrote (in #31):

    “Some of the most personal, and at other times, blatantly and inappropriately religious statements, come from anti-ID bloggers who like to visit here and pose as ID sympathizeers.”

    I’m sorry, I admit that I should have known that.

  39. toc asked (in #43):

    “…have you posted similar admonishments on the other blogs also?”

    Yes, I have, and have been criticized for doing so be who were supposed to be on “my side.” Indeed, if you are curious about this, please take a look at the posts and commentary threads at:

    http://evolutionanddesign.blogsome.com/

    This blog was co-moderated by Hannah Maxson (founder of the Cornell IDEA Club) and me. Very early in that process we settled on an equitable solution to the problem of “unsportsmanlike behavior”: she would moderate the comments of ID supporters (“IDers”) and I would moderate the comments of evolution supporters (“EBers”). As I admitted to her at the time, I was moderating (and even banning) more commentators from “my side” than she was for hers, an empirical fact about which I am still somewhat ashamed.

    However, in defense of “real” EBers, most of the offenders that I moderated (and all of the ones I banned) were not practicing evolutionary biologists. Rather, they were partisans for the EB side with little or no real understanding of the science of evolutionary biology.

    Why can I say this with such confidence? Because in science (as in any intellectual endeavor) there should be no “partisans”, nor any “true believers in the cause.” On the contrary, the traditions of science require an attitude of unremitting skepticism, especially with regards to one’s own favorite theories. Personal attacks and speculation unsupported by any attempt at empirical verification (such as those so liberally used in the post that heads this comment thread), have no place in science, nor in any intellectual endeavor.

    Are we not all. EBers and IDers alike, ultimately motivated by a sincere desire to understand as much about the nature of reality as we are capable of?

  40. Allen MacNeil said:

    “I was moderating (and even banning) more commentators from “my side” than she was for hers, an empirical fact about which I am still somewhat ashamed. ”

    Allen, I appreciate your integrity in this. But, I thought your comments earlier like:

    “if you had not made up your mind about this subject, would you like to be associated with people like you?”

    were just totally over-the-top. How you could say that when you know the kinds the things that Myers and others say. Your statement appears disengenuous.

    And, I sincerely do respect you for the moderation that you said you provided, but would respectfully disagree with what you say here:

    “However, in defense of “real” EBers, most of the offenders that I moderated (and all of the ones I banned) were not practicing evolutionary biologists. Rather, they were partisans for the EB side with little or no real understanding of the science of evolutionary biology.”

    I believe it was 2006 when Mike Behe came to speak in one of the new dining halls on West Campus. I’m not sure if you were there, but many who were could testify that he was treated so disrespectfully. And not in a minor way. I was there, and I saw people’s voices literally crack from screaming at Mike. These were the EB’s from your department because they identified themselves as such. I haven’t heard a person’s voice crack from screaming since middle school. Others shouted obsenities at him during their questions, and I remember one person in particular screaming (not raising their voice, but once again screaming in a shrill voice), that he needed to stop speaking so she could provide a full rebuttal (“you have already had 45 minutes to speak, now its my turn” she said). Oh yeah, and this was the one who turned to the rest of the audience, and in tears, while shouting at us, told us all we were uneducated and therefore were duped by Behe.

    In all the years I was at Cornell, and all the seminars I attended, I have never, ever witnessed such a cesspool. It was a total embarrassment to the institution. I would have much preferred to see them ask Mike hard questions, but rather, they went totally mental. To be fair, there were two very good questions from people in your Department, but everything else was totally unprofessional. I know some of the people were grad students, but again, what a disgrace it was. Especially since they affiliated themselves with the biological science departments. If there is anything you should be ashamed of, its how these folks represented themselves, your department (and others), and the University as a whole.

    Finally, you say:

    “No fundamentalist would ever say that.”

    are you joking? seriously, are you joking? Look around Cornell, at the Christians who participate in these discussions. Look at the three largest Evangelical churches in Ithaca, Allen. I personally know each of the Pastor’s of those churches, and have heard many, many sermons from each of them where they indicated that they were wrong about something they believed after many years. Some of those topics include things like age of earth, common descent, and other Christian hot-topics like the rapture, tithing principles, manifestations of spiritual gifts, etc., etc. If you stuck your nose into one of those churches you would see that it is quite common – and a pretty good example of humility.

    How many of the Christians on that campus came from 6-day creation backgrounds, and now state that those beliefs (to them at least) were not properly vetted out. And, they are man (or woman) enough to admit it.

    So, where do you get off saying:

    “No fundamentalist would ever say that.”

    Right in your hometown they are saying things like that, and on a frequent basis.

    I think you may need to reconsider that statement.

  41. —–Eric B on Allen MacNeill: “On the rest of your main point in this thread, very well said. You set an example in word and in deed.”

    Yes, I agree with that. Dr. MacNeill has given much of himself and I think everyone has benefited from it. I hope it is the same for him.

  42. Todd

    Nice try but you can’t get to the movie screening RSVP site from the main page anywhere I found. All the links go to stuff about the tour bus stops.

    Gerry

    “Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds discuss ideas.”

    And insecure minds are the only ones that care about the distinctions.

    It slips my mind which volume of “The Great Books of the Western World” the quote about small, medium, and jumbo brains came from. Obviously you have a set handy so could help me out there.

    Allen:

    Most of us have been to the Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb, and others on your side of the fence. That speaks volumes about the kind of people most of YOU are and it’s quite a contrast to what you see here. Obviously not a good contrast for your side. I suggest you heed what my mother taught me: People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Err… come to think of it that wasn’t my mom. It was my immediate superior in the Marine Corps 30 years ago who said that. He moonlighted as a bartender and, like all great bartenders, had short bits of good advice handy for any situation.

  43. Tom Riddle wrote (in #50) about Michael Behe’s treatment at a dinner at West Campus:

    Unfortunately, I was not present at this dinner, and so shall have to take your work for it. However, I was present at Will Provine’s evolution class (in fact, I have participated in that course as one of the lecturers for over a decade). What happened at that lecture bore absolutely no similarity to what you describe.

    On the contrary, our students attacked Behe’s ideas, but gave him a hearty round of applause at the end of his lecture. Perhaps it was (and is) Will Provine’s influence that convinced our students to treat him (and Hannah Maxson, John Sanford, Phillip Johnson, and other IDers) as people to be treated with respect, rather than representatives of a viewpoint which one attacks with as much vigor as one can muster.

    Tom also asked:

    “How you could say that when you know the kinds the things that Myers and others say.”

    Once again, the fact that one’s opponents in an intellectual debate may stoop to ad hominem arguments and personal attacks cannot in any way justify counterattacking in the same way. On the contrary (and as you pointed out), if one adheres always to the tradition of “respect the person/attack his ideas”, one can claim the moral high ground as well as defending one’s ideas to the best of one’s ability. As a person who was long trained in two different religious traditions (Quakerism and Zen Buddhism), I thought that this attitude of mutual respect and humility was what precisely what those traditions were all about.

  44. DaveScot,

    No, Todd is correct. You can navigate to the rsvp site from the public getexpelled.com site. (I’ll add the links in, step by step.)

    (1) Click his original link – getexpelled.com

    (2) From there Click the Events and Tours link on the bottom left.

    (3) On that page, the first paragraph (which Todd originally cited above) has a link “Click here to RSVP now”

    Your addenda above is mistaken, and thus your argument about the selectivity of invitation is mistaken.

    Anyone interested could have accessed that from the publicly advertised website – a church group, my girlfriend, PZ Myers, etc. It is open to anyone interested enough to click the links. As Myers stated he did from the start.

    I’m not understanding how this could even be controversial. It took me less than 30 seconds to find the RSVP site a minute ago.

    Honestly, I’m not trying to be rude or anything, but its about principle. I’m sorry – folks who are pulling the “not invited” argument are not only (easily) demonstrably wrong, but frankly come off as rather disingenuous.

    The ID camp is often accused of disingenuousness to advance an unpopular agenda. That migh be an unfair generalization, but this affair has certainly reinforced that, at least in my mind.

  45. DaveScot:

    Here’s another one:

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    Have I been throwing stones here?

  46. Um, did anyone notice that the “private” RSVP link is now publicly posted right here in an article declaring how private it is supposed to be? To wit, from the ADDENDA

    “The above is not a publicized address.”

    Well, it is now, if not before.

  47. Allen,

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    What about those of us who reject the concept of original sin?

  48. StephenB wrote (in #54):

    “I agree with that. Dr. MacNeill has given much of himself and I think everyone has benefited from it. I hope it is the same for him.”

    Indeed, as I often tell my correspondent Hannah Maxson (currently caring for homeless orphans in Ulaan Baator, Mongolia), one reaches clarity not by discussing such things with people who agree with you, but rather with people who most vehemently disagree with you.

    Darwin himself set the example in this, saying that he spent little time corresponding with people who agreed with him, concentrating instead on the arguments of those who disagreed with him. This is precisely the attitude of “universal skepticism” that I have advocated as the heart and soul of science.

    We are never in greater danger of error than when we believe that we know the Truth about something, and only discuss it with people who agree with us.

  49. Reread the comments above and ask yourself: if you had not made up your mind about this subject, would you like to be associated with people like you?-Allen MacNeill

    Compared to what anti-ID sites say about IDists I would rather be associated with the people here.

    And there really isn’t any comparison to what is posted here with the viritrol that is spewed on anti-ID sites.

    Do you like being associated with those people?

    I have read Sean Carroll- nothing but speculation.

    If science is done via imagination and speculation then you guys have it down pat.

    However there STILL isn’t any way to objectively test that the transformations required are even possible.

    If you want people like me to shut up then start putting up.

  50. ov

    Your link is to the tour bus RSVP site. Those are NOT movie screenings. The global invitation was for the tour bus not for movie screenings.

  51. DaveScot,

    The links have been changed. It makes me think even less of these Expelled producers, that they are now hiding their tracks. When I received an e-mail from them, the link gave a page where you could reserve tickets. Now, they aren’t even showing the future showings of the movie (there was supposed to be a showing on April 1 in Owings Mills, MD) – now it doesn’t show, and I can’t reserve tickets. I’ll have to wait until it comes out on April 18th. But I don’t think I’ll go see it. As much as I wanted to, I’m very disappointed by both the behavior of the producers, and by the behavior of the ID community in endorsing their poor behavior.

    I am so deeply disappointed by this. We are supposed to be better than them.

  52. Nochange

    The links have not been changed. The open RSVP system had to be abandoned due to abuse and the few showings left either cancelled or closed.

    Tauma

    The URL was made public the first time as far as I can tell by Glen Davidson on talk.origins on March 12th, just a week before the Minnesota screening. It no longer points to any future screenings as the juvenile deliquent Myers supporters started abusing it shortly after the affair by RSVPing everyone from PZ Myers to Adolf Hitler to Mother Teresa.

  53. “The links have not been changed. The open RSVP system had to be abandoned due to abuse and the few showings left either cancelled or closed.”

    Beg pardon, I miswrote. The page has changed. Previously it was an open RSVP system. Now it is not.

    Hence, it would seem that the open RSVP system was previously used to RSVP by folks who knew where it was. And now it can no longer be used. But my interpretation stands. It appears that they are hiding that Meyers and Dawkins could easily have legitimately gained entrance. Whether it is due to abuse or not, the appearance is of someone trying to hide something.

  54. “Rather than speculate, how about some facts.
    Eyewitness Stuart Blessman reports:”

    Blessman apparently can’t keep his story straight. See comment #6 here:

    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.

    [Emphasis mine]

    Several other witnesses (admittedly friends of Myers) say the same thing.

  55. Davescot,

    Ah, apologies! You are certainly correct about the limited access then.

    I suppose I can understand wanting to contol a test audience, but I don’t think one can reasonably expect such a degree of control with such automation coupled with the mass e-mail invites. Moreover, from what I understand, many of the invites allowed for “guests” when signing up. How could one reasonably maintain that this is a situation intimate enough to warrant dis-invites after the fact?

    Also, there’s the issue that the subject at hand (Myers) was rejected from a film that he is used in. Frankly, I would assume I was welcome to any screening of a film that used my beautiful likeness, even if I hear about the screening on a random message board.

    In the end, it comes across as heavy handed if nothing else.

    By the way, I apologize if I sounded a tad condescending earlier. I was certainly wrong. I admit an emotive reflex over people being booted/harassed by security in general. Anti-authority reflex.

    Good luck with the movie. I’ll try to catch it when it comes out.

  56. Nochange:
    “The page has changed. Previously it was an open RSVP system.”

    Mr.nochange, do you have proof of this?

    Keeping track of a stale website sounds like an awful and wasteful hobby to me.

  57. Dave, maybe nochange is referring to this

    http://rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/movies/expelled

    which was “previously an open RSVP system.”

  58. Nochange @ 70:
    “Now, they aren’t even showing the future showings of the movie (there was supposed to be a showing on April 1 in Owings Mills, MD) – now it doesn’t show, and I can’t reserve tickets. I’ll have to wait until it comes out on April 18th.”

    Not necessarily true. See
    http://rsvp.getexpelled.com/ev.....l/expelled

    From a logistical and business standpoint, it is no wonder to see schedules being reshuffled in response to the high demand and controversy the movie has generated.

  59. ov_ #73:

    I suppose I can understand wanting to contol a test audience, but I don’t think one can reasonably expect such a degree of control with such automation coupled with the mass e-mail invites.

    It wasn’t a test audience so much as a marketing tactic to generate “buzz” around the films pending release to garner schedule slots in theaters. Much the same was done for Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”. The point is to show the film to ostensibly friendy viewers (like pastors) and potentially unfriendly but nonetheless likely interested viewers (biology educators, professionals) to give them a basis on which to recommend or request showings in local theaters.

    Moreover, from what I understand, many of the invites allowed for “guests” when signing up. How could one reasonably maintain that this is a situation intimate enough to warrant dis-invites after the fact?

    It was a private screening. The website not unreasonably relied on an unpublished special RSVP URL and the honor system we when RSVPing to clearly labeled Private screenings which apparently worked previously and works normally amongst pastors and most biology educators and professionals, for example. When the honor system works, extending the private screening audience to the guests of specifically invited individuals leverages the effectiveness of whatever lead lists were purchased. The point of the RSVP is both to measure interest and plan to not exceed seating limits by holding the screening invitations open too long. I’m suspect they invited more people from the leads list than RSVP’d and more people RSVP’d than actually showed up. The website is a marketing/screening management tool.

    However, PZ Myers is a known aberration, who was turned away as he seemingly was never invited initially, well, at least he hasn’t to date provided his initial invitation (not the same as a confirmation of an honor-based RSVP to a private invitation never sent).

  60. Again, since when is a contractee responsible for the actions of the contractor’s employees? Do you people really think that an established organization or firm will expose itself to that sort of risk?

    If security officers are the hired workers of the theatre in question, then their supervision rests with the management of that institution. Security personnel follow certain proxy rules in controlling crowds of people, and when they are faced with extraordinary exceptions, management is the one called upon to make ultimate decisions.

  61. Nope, no proof. I’m not in the habit of saving web pages (are you?). I was planning to reserve tickets for the April 1 showing at Owings Mills, MD.

    Now I can’t.

    And that’s why I know.

    Believe me or not, it’s your choice.

  62. Nochange @ 79:
    “I was planning to reserve tickets for the April 1 showing at Owings Mills, MD.”

    Apparently, Baltimore is slated for an upcoming screening, so maybe with a little patience and luck, you might get a chance to see it there. Again, see here

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

    If money is an issue, you can apply here

    http://www.getexpelled.com/ticketcontest.php

    One of life’s lessons is that we don’t always get what we want and that life itself is about constant changes. We just gotta learn to live with it and hope for the best to come.

    Yes, I know, it just sucks to have to wait eighteen more days for a movie that may not be worth paying for. But hey, April 18 will be here before you even know it, and then we can all celebrate the virtues or lack thereof.

  63. 63

    Here is a list of theaters Expelled will be playing in.

    http://www.expelledthemovie.com/theaterap.php

  64. 64

    I am amazed that there are no shows in the Northeastern United States.

  65. Sorry, that link is to the random list. You have to select the state in question from the list..

    Oops, by the way …
    In haste I thought PO had said “Northwestern” …so nevermind.

  66. 67

    No need to be sorry, Charlie.
    I’m always making mistakes. :)

  67. The P. Z. Myers affair has all the marks of a living farce. This reminded me of passages from The Socialist Phenomenon by Igor Shafarevich, the gifted Russian mathematician and friend of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. First the marks of farce:

    … the curious traits we observed in the “Conspiracy of Equals” …: the naive adventurism, the arrogant boastfulness, the disposition to petty dishonesty and disruptive behavior, a certain inanity that gave the whole movement a somewhat comic and Gogolian flavor. (Ch. IX. Socialism and Individuality, p.267)

    Somewhat later in the text, Shafarevich makes reference to private rooms (an analog to the private showing of the film):

    …in Crime and Punishment, the character Lebeziatnikov expounds on the question of free entry into rooms in the future society: “It has been debated of late whether a member of the commune has the right to go into the room of another member, male or female, at any time. ..well, it was decided that he does.” ((Ch. VI. The Contours of Socialism, p. 99 — quoting from F. Dostoevskii. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii (Collected Works, in Russian). 30 vols. Leningrad, 1972: VI: p. 284)

    and again:

    One enthusiast published a book based, as he claims, on Trotsky’s ideas: “It should be made clear that I do not consider the idea of rooms necessary; I believe that it will be possible to consider a room only as the living space of an individual person. After all, isolation in a room is quite unnecessary for collective man. …The isolation needed in certain hours of love can be had in special pleasure gardens where the man and his female companion will be able to find the necessary comforts.” (Ch. VI., p. 99 — quoting from M. V. Shchekin. Kak zhit’ po novomu (How to Live in the New Way, in Russian). Kostroma, 1925.)

    The very fact that these people would deliberately plan to violate a private showing speaks volumes about their attitude toward their fellows. The fact that they are also almost uniformly political leftists is, as the Marxists were fond of saying, no accident. Later Shafarevich explicates the other outgrowths of this attitude, the socialist ideal:

    We can see that all elements of the socialist ideal — the abolition of private property, family, hierarchies; the hostility toward religion — could be regarded as a manifestation of one basic principle: the suppression of individuality. (Ch. IX. Socialism and Individuality, p.269)

    He then goes on to consider a single aspect, the fate of the family under socialism:

    In the 1970s, the Japanese police arrested members of the “Red Army,” a Trotskyite organization, which was responsible for a number of murders. Although this group numbered only a few dozen people, it had all the attributes of a real socialist party — theoreticians, a split on the question of whether revolution should occur in one country or in the entire world at once, terror against dissidents. The group established itself in a lonely mountain region. And the same trait surfaced here: they took newborn children away from their mothers, entrusted them to other women for upbringing and fed them on powdered milk, despite difficulties in obtaining it. (Ch. X. The Goal of Socialism. pp. 270, 271)

    Shafarevich provides many more examples that demonstrate how this trait is manifest. It is no accident (there’s that phrase again) that Myers, Dawkins, Dennett and company also display it in modern dress, the vision of Darwin to be sure (Freud and Marx having bit the dust). One is on record that Baptists belong in concentration camps or something of that sort, their children having been taken from them — for the good of the children to be sure. Another, that religion is a form of child abuse and should be abolished by law.

    As regards religion, especially Christianity, all of them seem to have a visceral sense that it is dangerous to their whole view of existence, inchoate though that sense may be. And they would be right, for Christianity is the antithesis of their view: the Divine Comedy as opposed to a pessimism that despairs of even the possibility that life may have meaning. The Gospel provides extremely infertile ground for such, hence the implacable hostility, just as it was manifest by the Gnostics of the 1st Century, the Middle Ages, and the Enlightenment. (They would have gagged at John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and the Human Person, if they had bothered to read and understand it, which is extremely unlikely.)

    Igor Shafarevich’s book: The Socialist Phenomenon is available online for no cost.

    Other recommended reading on the same themes:

    Eric Vogelin’s The New Science of Politics, From Enlightenment of Revolution, and Order and History (in 5 volumes).

    Incidentally, I am aware that Igor Shafarevich has been accused of anti-semitism, a smear during the hurley-burley of post-soviet politics that, no doubt, was designed to limit his influence; in the West, it was probably effective.

  68. I went to the Expelled site a few days ago and registered for a ticket for the April 1 screening in Maryland. There was no option for a guest with my registration, so my husband registered separately.

    We received email confirmations and were instructed to bring IDs to the theater.

    I did this without having received an invitation.

    That screening seems to have been cancelled.

  69. ck1

    So you RSVPed to an invitation you never received using a web address that has no link to it on the host’s website.

    What’s wrong with that picture?

  70. ck1, are you by any chance the same person that is posting under the username “nochange”?

  71. Actually, there are links to the rsvp system that come from the Evolution News & Views website.

    From Evolution News & Views, click on “Academic Freedom Petition”. From there, click on “Get Expelled”. Click on “Events & Tours” and Click on “RSVP”.

    I imagine there are other ways (I found this one accidentally, while reading Evolution News & Views). This showing wasn’t a secret. This showing wasn’t a private party. This had a perfectly legit way to sign up if you were interested.

    Meyers is a bad man, we all agree on that. But the Expelled people screwed up, and then lied to cover it up.

    This was an event that anyone could sign up for.

    When will we apologize?

    (PS, ck1 is not me. Maryland has a population of about 5 million. Apparently at least 2 of us read Uncommon Descent).

  72. Nochange @ 94:

    This was an event that anyone could sign up for.

    No it wasn’t. It was one of many screenings expressly labeled “Private” whose RSVP URL was neither published nor linked from other pages on the website.

    See my post 34 for details.

  73. Davescot:

    I did not RSVP to any invitation.
    I registered for a ticket on a website on which I did not see anything stating “By invitation only”.
    I did not see anything on that website indicating that registration was restricted to invited persons.

    (and I have not registered here under any other name)

  74. nochange @ 94:

    Nochange, the Events & Tours” to which you are referring were indeed public; but this is not what we have been discussing.

    All along the subject has been about movie screenings, which fall under a different banner.

    And about my mistaking you for ck1 – this is because the two of you were expressing the same concern in exactly identical fashion (and the two of you not having bumped into each other into agreement) just seemed kinda odd.

  75. Re-read my post # 94. It is exactly what you have been discussing. Now click through on the links I’m talking about. It takes you to the RSVP site that previously would have allowed you to sign up for showings of Expelled. Indeed, I had been visiting it myself, until it was changed.

    You can link to a site that previously allowed *anyone* to sign up for tickets from the Evolution New & Views website. Not hidden. Totally linkable. Anyone could have found it. Anyone can sign up. This is the site that until a few days ago would have allowed me to sign up for showings in Owings Mills, and has the showing in Minnesota that generated the uproar.

    How is that private?

    Unless it says, “Sign up for tickets, unless you are Meyers or Dawkin’s, or a Darwinist”, I think this constitutes public. How many ways will you twist yourself into a pretzel to make it seem like the folks at Expelled didn’t screw up? If this had been done to us, we would be trumpeting the censorious nature of Darwinists (indeed, we do! and we should!). But done to the other side, it’s okay. This bothers me deeply. We are supposed to be better than them. Not as petty. Not as censorious.

    P.S.

    “(and the two of you not having bumped into each other into agreement)”

    In addition to 5 million people in Maryland, there are at least several different places Marylanders can connect to the internet. What are you talking about? Can you tone down the paranoia? I don’t need a sockpuppet to agree with me. I’m quite content to hold my own opinions. I’m an independent thinker. I don’t no ck1. Never met ck1. Embarrassed that this is even an issue.

  76. How is that private?

    Compare the URLs:

    Here is the public tour URL:
    http://rsvp.getexpelled.com/events/movies/expelled

    Here is the unpublished, unlinked “private” screenings URL
    http://rsvp.getexpelled.com/ev.....l/expelled

    Look at the differences in the two URLs and note the “private” screenings URL has “special” in place of “movies” in the URL.

    That’s how.

  77. Nochange @ 98:
    “This is the site that until a few days ago would have allowed me to sign up for showings in Owings Mills”

    Mr.Nochange, and why didn’t you sign up at the first opportunity?

  78. ck1 @ 90:
    “That screening seems to have been cancelled.”

    Hello there Ms.Ck1. Please meet Mr.Nochange who happens to be from your area (I think). Both of you seemed to have had the same problem with the April 1 screening that you now say was cancelled. Can you explain to Mr.Nochange that if a screening for a particular city and/or date is cancelled that this then would necessitate a change in the website as well? Mr.Nochange is under the impression that the producers are acting maliciously for reasons that don’t appear to be clear.

  79. ck1

    I did not RSVP to any invitation.

    Exactly. You RSVPed but didn’t get an invitation. You don’t know that an RSVP is a response to an invitation?

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