Here's his point:
The new rage in movies currently is Expelled, or so I am told. I've had many folks asking about this movie over the past few weeks and thought I'd put my thoughts down for all to see (since so many of you keep prodding). In short, I have no real interest in seeing it and won't.
Now, to back up a bit, Expelled is an ID (intelligent design) documentary that looked to have promise when I first heard about it. Ben Stein and company were going to take a serious look at the plight of ID scientists in the field, or so I thought. In the end it seems to be nothing more than more propaganda, no different than one would expect out of a Michael Moore documentary (which I'm somewhat proud to say I've never seen).
The first hint that I was going to be more disgusted than excited at this film came from reading the tale of PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins in getting into the opening screening. To make a long story short, Myers — one of the evolutionary scientists interviewed for the film was kicked out (they let Dawkins in though — he was also interviewed but wasn't recognized).
That got me reading further into things. It turns out that the producers outright lied to the scientists in order to get them to talk on camera. They claimed the interviews were for a movie entitled Crossroads that explored honestly the intersection of faith and science. Funny thing is though that the domain name for Expelled was reserved and set up months before the interviews occurred and the domain for Crossroads was never reserved, making intentions pretty obvious.
So we've moved from expelling some of the participants from the screening (something I'd look down on but could forgive) to outright dishonesty. There is a lot more "dishonesty" involved in this flick though so don't be easily fooled if you do go and see it. Scientific American lists 6 things in particular that immediately jump out as dishonest:
- Misquoting sources (particularly the quotes linking Charles Darwin to the holocaust).
- Ben Stein's speech was a setup, staged at Pepperdine and filled with extras paid off by the production company.
- I've already discussed their third item: the dishonest interviews.
- The ID researcher who "lost his job" was never actually an employee of the Smithsonian Institute. This is a big one because one of the primary premises of the movie is that scientists are losing jobs left and right because of this issue which isn't really true. If you want to look at (the university where I go), we have many ID sympathetic professors, but that's another story.
- A weaker weakness. Could take this one either way. Basically the approach of science towards evolution and ID isn't accurately portrayed.
- Specifically chose to interview only atheistic scientists and not any of the Christian scientists that might be sympathetic to evolutionary views. ("Mathis explained that his presence would have "confused" viewers. But the reality is that showing Miller would have invalidated the film's major premise that evolutionary biologists all reject God.")
And thus we are left with a documentary that pulls out all of the tricks to sucker people into believing everything they say. Again, there really aren't any difference in the above tactics and the charges commonly leveled against folks like Michael Moore. And it's a shame that this is all done under the guise of Christianity and a "Christian" film. Those that are going to be seeing it already have their minds made up about the ID issue and those that should be exposed to some ID thought aren't going to want anything to do with it. In their words,
"Christians have a growing reputation for their appreciation of dishonesty." (from PZ Myer's post above)
"Lying for Jesus" (from RichardDawkins.net)
So hopefully this all explains why I don't have much interest in seeing Expelled. I'd love it though if someone actually did what the producers told Myers, Dawkins and others they were going to do (namely create a serious exploration of the intersection of faith and science). Here's to hoping they do, and here's to hoping for integrity in any film-making that's going to be in some way associated with Christ.
I feel what this person is saying, yes.
At the same time, it's not a *Christian* film. Stein's no Christian. Jonathan Wells is a frickin Moonie. Berlinski is an agnostic (and a brilliant one at that!). It's mkted to churches, yeah, but so what? That's just good PR. Remember, it's the naturalists, starting with John Dewey, who want to keep church out of the affairs of state, gov't, and education. Not the other way 'round.
Expelling PZ Myers from the screening is NOT good PR. It was really stupid and makes Expelled look terrible, though Myers richly deserves that his face be ground in the dirt every time he shows his face in public. He is a very very bad dude and I don't care what happens to him.
Mentioning Christians and their growing love for dishonesty gives me a few thoughts:
-The naturalists started it. This is like Muslims complaining about the Crusades or Charlemagne's and Ferdinand's reconquista of Spain.
-The naturalists are finishing it as well. They leverage their power to silence the alternative voices. If a movie fails to focus well on that, it doesn't change the fact that it IS HAPPENING. It's a MOVIE. Like Forbidden Kingdom is a MOVIE. You believe most of what you see on the silver screen? You're a fool if you do!
-These guys would NEVER say the on-the-honest-side things they said in those interviews if the Expelled crew had identified themselves as pro-ID. They wouldn't've said anythg at all. Why not just say what you have to say if you're a big shot evolutionary biologist and claim in other situations that you have all the evidence on your side? This exposes their hypocrisy (much like Yasser Arafat saying "Peace, peace" in EN and FR and then "Push the Jew pigs into the sea" in Arabic a little later), and if that takes lying to evangelists of atheism (ie, false teachers), boo hoo. They are not my neighbors.
Propaganda - yes, that's precisely what I expected it to be.
-Maybe your standards were a little lofty.
-I don't begrudge Michael Moore his methods so much, but rather the wrongheaded conclusions he reaches.
Misquoting sources - well, they shouldn't do that, 'tis true. IF they did it, and I don't know how much I believe an obviously biased source like SciAm.
The reason one shouldn't do that is b/c there is plenty of ACTUAL evidence out there making those links - just do a little more research so you don't get exposed.
"at the university where I go, we have many ID sympathetic professors..."
-In the science department?
-One of the elders at my church is a prof of Stat and wanted to teach a class that was loosely related to ID and Information theory, which is close to his field. The univ said screw off. Fortunately this prof is tenured and not in the science dept, or maybe he'd be in the film as well!
"in some way associated with Christ."
Those are my thoughts.
It was a good movie and I'd recommend it. It was almost exactly what I expected it to be, in fact. It's a STARTING POINT for these discussions.
To the reader - keep an eye on the combox. I've found that this movie engenders approximately the same level of emotional frothing at the mouth that discussions of the Iraq conflict do. Which is why I'm loathe to discuss either. Look for a probable lack of... well, me, in the combox on this one.