Friday, August 24, 2007

Have The Darwinists Stepped In It?

Some interesting commentary at Telic Thoughts regarding the movie "Expelled".


# Joy Says:
August 23rd, 2007 at 9:41 pm |

What PZ and the others were told about the documentary (tentatively entitled "Crossroads" (by Mathis):

We are currently in production of the documentary film, "Crossroads: The Intersection of Science and Religion."

At your convenience I would like to discuss our project with you and to see if we might be able to schedule an interview with you for the film. The interview would take no more than 90 minutes total, including set up and break down of our equipment.

We are interested in asking you a number of questions about the disconnect/controversy that exists in America between Evolution, Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement.

What Rampant Films (Mathis' outfit) offered as the blurb:

It's been the central question of humanity throughout the ages: How in the world did we get here? In 1859 Charles Darwin provided the answer in his landmark book, "The Origin of Species." In the century and a half since, biologists, geologists, physicists, astronomers and philosophers have contributed a vast amount of research and data in support of Darwin's idea. And yet, millions of Christians, Muslims, Jews and other people of faith believe in a literal interpretation that humans were crafted by the hand of God. This conflict between science and religion has unleashed passions in school board meetings, courtrooms and town halls across America and beyond.

Which PZ considered "perfectly reasonable," so he agreed to be interviewed.

They asked their questions, PZ (and Eugenie, and Dawkins, and whoever else they contracted) gave them answers. They all knew it was about NDS vs. ID, they all knew it was about the theist vs. atheist "culture war" they've all been waging for many years, and I doubt very much that anyone would have to edit anything at all that any of them said. Though obviously the documentary isn't 2 hours' worth of PZ pontificating, so a lot that was said didn't make it into the film. Not a single one of them has reason to complain about that, they all signed a valid contract, they were paid for their time.

At some later point in the process the primary production company bought in (making Mathis the associate producer), and apparently Stein got involved. The focus also apparently changed. No doubt because of some of the things they said when they thought the movie was their personal propaganda vehicle.

One need not be partisan in these debates to figure out very quickly who's who and what's what. The amount of bile is simply inconsistent with the non-threat of ID. Once again the NAM illustrates its broader sociopolitical ambitions in the post-wedge world. The only excuse for sic'ing the dogs is that PZ knows very well what he DID say and is suddenly concerned that he might not come across as the good guy.

Unless he's getting paid by the production company to generate the requisite "controversy," that is. Not at all out of the realm of possibility.

I don't know what to think, and won't until I see the film. I'm not convinced it's not a "Borat" take-off that's just edgy comedy and everybody comes out looking silly. It's 6 months away, so there's no reason to get all upset.

And this:

# MikeGene Says:
August 23rd, 2007 at 11:25 pm |

Hi Idiot Wind,

I’d like to thank you for actually addressing one of the points in my opening post. You wrote:

Here are some more clues for you from their web page:

"Big Science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom"

"There is a movement on the horizon that has the potential to change the educational system in America and influence your kids, you and the youth you serve."

"…several students challenging Neo-Darwinian materialism, and arguing incessantly for the right to examine Intelligent Design. "

From the trailer:

"There are people out there who want to keep science in a little box where it possibly can't touch God "

Hmmm, I wonder why Stein and the movie producers decided to make this movie… I guess that it has nothing to do with Wegde strategy and getting ID in the classrooms, yeah right!

I think this wedge-centric perspective has you missing the hard edge of reality. This is not a DI [Discovery Institute] movie. You need to let that sink in. This is not a DI movie. What you are dealing with here is something that is much, much larger and much more clever. And if we take the trailer and web page at face value, yes, you are dealing with people who are willing to shout, “There are people out there who want to keep science in a little box where it possibly can't touch God.”

You need to ask yourself why in the world would such Big Money and someone as mainstream as Ben Stein become involved in this debate, just as it seemed as the ID Movement was fading into history? I’m guessing that it is because the critics resurrected it. How? Because of their overblown sense of threatiness, needed to arouse battle troops in the scientific community, they were willing to abandon principle for politics and succeeded in making martyrs. But it’s not just that alone. Juxtaposed against Sternberg and Gonzalez, we’ll get to see Dawkins and his movement bash religion, while telling us science has shown God does not exist. Has it occurred to you that this is very powerful imagery, made possible only because of the actions and words of the critics?

Imagine if the critics had listened to me. The Dover decision would still exist, but there would be no martyrs to catch the attention of some major league players. And all those scientific organization that made it clear ID is not science? They would have also made it clear that the anti-religious agenda of the most popular scientist in the world, along with his movement, does not represent science and the scientific community. The only question remains is how much the critics will continue to bash and smear about a movie made possible by their bashing and smearing?

This is going to be fun. The most ferocious ID critics really need to be much more famous than they already are, and their kind words need to be immortalized and proclaimed far and wide. Is there anything that could help their cause more?

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