Monday, May 05, 2008

Review of "Expelled" by author who didn't see the movie touted at more anti-ID blogs

Looks like the intellectual standards over at places like TalkReason.org and Panda's Thumb are deteriorating pretty rapidly. It seems they hold John Derbyshire's review of "Expelled," wherin Derbyshire admits he didn't actually see the movie before reviewing it, in some esteem. They join other anti-ID outfits such as Ed Brayton's Dispatches from the Culture Wars in commending Derbyshire's voodoo film criticism to their readers.

Oh well, I'm sure the pretense of intellectual integrity was enjoyable while it lasted.

20 comments:

Motheral said...

So what specific facts did they get wrong about "Expelled?"

Dan said...

You don't actually have to see a movie to know that it's crap. If some Astrologers got together and made a movie about how they were being "Expelled" from schools of astronomy, I wouldn't have to see it to make derogatory comments about it.

Nobody who is intelligent needs to see it. Just listen to Ben Stein. Just read reputable people who have seen it. Just learn about the history of the movie (i.e., the lies they told to their interviewees).

It's not rocket science. It's not science at all.

theframeproblem said...

One does not need to see this movie to critique it. Reasons:
1) The ID movement is very well-known, as it has been active for years;
2) Ben Stein and other people behind the movie have given numerous interviews wherein they describe the premises of the film;
3) The film trailers give a very good overview of what to expect in the film;
4) The movie has a website which gives info on its content;
5) There have been a number of reviews written about the film, positive and negative, which can inform later reviews.

I don't need to see the movie to understand that its linking of evolution with Nazism is BS propaganda. I don't need to see the movie to know that all of the profs it claims have been Expelled were not Expelled but let go for a variety of other reasons. I don't need to see the movie to know that a good scientific case for ID has not been made - and moreover, does this movie even bother to make a case for ID anyhow?

If you're going to talk about integrity, you should stop defending ID right now because this movement is run by an organization of people who believe that the ends justify the means. Their ends: to get religion past the secular constitution and into the classroom. Their means: propaganda like Expelled, expelling critics (e.g., PZ Myers, other people unlikely to be motivated to review the film positively), and depending upon a scientifically unsavvy general population to bring ID into the classroom, because they cannot depend on ignorance within the scientific community or even in the courtroom when the courtroom is headed by a Conservative and devout Christian Bush-appointed Republican Judge - John Jones in the Dover Trial, who called ID religion masquerading as science, not science, breathtaking inanity, and firmly accused many of the ID proponents of lying about their motivations in bringing ID to the courts.

What does it tell you when ID is only respected by devout religionists (and surely not all of them; there are many devout religionists like Ken Miller and Francis Collins who view ID as an intellectual embarrassment), when over 99% of the scientific community rejects it, and when even a conservative and devout Christian Bush-appointed Republican judge rejects it as a disingenuous non-scientific religious propaganda movement?

If you want to talk about integrity, why not walk the walk a little bit and call a spade a spade?

Martin Cothran said...

Motheral asks:

So what specific facts did they get wrong about "Expelled?"

I've actually seen the movie, so what would I know?

theframeproblem said...

Martin: That's a very witty cop-out. But would you like to give a real response?

Martin Cothran said...

Yeah, I know. I admit it. But I'll try to address these later tonight when I have some time.

Anonymous said...

A photo of some "Darwinists" with Hitler can be found here:
http://www.evolvedrational.com/2008/05/darwinism-atheism-hitler-fail.html

Martin Cothran said...
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Martin Cothran said...
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theframeproblem said...

Martin:

Speaking of lemmings, the entire ID position is a blind faith follower's position. The scientific community rejects it based on its complete lack of merit. The courts reject it - even the court with a conservative and christian bush-appointed republican judge. For more detail on all of this, see my comment in the thread that you posted right after this one.

The only people who follow ID are devout religionists whose beliefs are based not on faith and laughably poor evidence inherited from past generations.

Does it ever bring you pause that not only does a prerequisite for valuing ID happen to be that one must be a devout religionist, but that the entire scientific community, the secular (i.e., religiously neutral) court systems, and the rest of the Western and much of the non-Western world is collectively laughing at the ID community as well as America as a whole for having so many people who are so brainwashed? On this note, I hope that you're not one of those flag-waving foam-finger "we're number 1" US citizens (I assume that you're probably American, which statistically is very very likely), because it is primarily the religious right of America that has resulted in America going from being a respected and admired nation to be viewed as a big lumbering bellicose nation of bullies and morons.

Martin Cothran said...

Motheral,

Where did I say Derbyshire got specific facts wrong? In fact, I criticized him because he refused to give examples of specific charges against the movie.

Did you read what I said, or are you now mimicking Derbyshire and not reading the things you criticize?

Surely, Motheral you're not going off the cliff with all the other lemmings who are defending Derbyshire's review of this movie, are you?

Martin Cothran said...

Frame,

The only people who follow ID are devout religionists...

Okay. Got it. So here goes: tell me whether you accept the following argument:

All ID supporters are devout religionists.
Ben Stein is an ID supporter.
Therefore Ben Stein is a devout religionist.

Motheral said...

Where did I say Derbyshire got specific facts wrong?

You didn't -- which I take as an admission that one can indeed judge "Expelled" without having to waste money to see it oneself. The movie claims to be a "documentary," reporting certain (alleged) material facts; therefore, if one knows what (alleged) material facts are stated in the movie, one can judge the movie according to the validity of the allegations contained therein -- especially when said allegations have been repeated ad nauseam elsewhere for YEARS before the movie was made.

Martin Cothran said...

Basically Motheral is saying that if you hear critics saying something is bad, then you don't need to study the thing yourself.

I'm sure all the creationists out there who've heard bad reviews of evolution will be happy to hear that.

Motheral said...

Basically Motheral is saying that if you hear critics saying something is bad, then you don't need to study the thing yourself.

No, I'm saying that if there are reliable sources describing the content and thrust of the movie, then we don't need to see the movie to get the content and thrust thereof. And in this case, "reliable sources" includes, not merely knowledgeable critics of creationism, but supporters of the movie itself.

I'm sure all the creationists out there who've heard bad reviews of evolution will be happy to hear that.

They don't need to hear it -- they've already been trying to discredit evolution, and science in general, without bothering to understand the subject beforehand. Which, as I already said elsewhere, makes your complaints about not seeing the movie hypocritical as well as empty.

Motheral said...

And before you waste any more of your time bloviating about critics who haven't seen the movie, I have to ask you this: What's your response to those critics who HAVE seen the movie? Were they right? Were they more right than those who didn't see it? If so, what did the former get right that the latter got wrong?

One more thing: since the producers of this crap went to great lengths to ensure that most of the people who got an advance peek at the movie were already guaranteed to be sympathetic to its message, you really have no right to complain when the movie is criticized by people who were filtered out of the audience.

A fact-free crybaby movie with a fact-free crybaby message is now being "defended" by fact-free crybaby reasoning. At least no one can accuse that lot of inconsistency.

Martin Cothran said...

Motheral,

I've taken a solemn oath that responding to Derbyshire was the last time I would discuss the movie with someone who talks big about the empirical method but doesn't actually practice it.

When you request that I respond to "critics who HAVE seen the movie" is this a class of people that includes you?

Motheral said...

I've taken a solemn oath that responding to Derbyshire was the last time I would discuss the movie with someone who talks big about the empirical method but doesn't actually practice it.

So I guess you won't be making any effort to prove such critics are wrong? (Oh, and when we judge a so-called "documentary" based on reliable and publicly available information -- whose validity you never disputed -- we ARE practicing the empirical method.)

Funny how you only mention this "solemn oath" after you're faced with questions you aren't willing to answer.

When you request that I respond to "critics who HAVE seen the movie" is this a class of people that includes you?

Why is that relevant? I'm asking you to provide information to reinforce some argument of yours, and you're refusing to provide it. What this says about your integrity has nothing to do with me.

Martin Cothran said...
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Martin Cothran said...

Have you seen "Expelled," Motheral?