Monday, June 22, 2009

If We'da Known Anyone Was Going To Be Critical Of Us, We Woulda Changed Our Story, Or Woulda Hid

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Darwinists seem to think that speaking honestly and freely should only be done for friendlies. And that if documentary makers interview you they have to agree with you. Otherwise it's no fair!!

Besides, it is doubtful that the film makers even do disagree with the historians on the subject matter of the historical Darwin. If they disagree on the actual correctness of Darwinism as science, well, what does that have to do with the historians, anyway?


Also, from a comment to the post:

It is complete nonsense to suggest that a journalist is required to tell people whom he interviews what the perspective of his documentary will be. If such a stupid code existed it would inhibit the ability of a journalist to gather basic facts.

Furthermore, it is ridiculous for someone who testifies in documentary to complain that they would have given different testimony had they known the documentary was going to be against Darwinism, as if there is one set of facts that one discloses when speaking with Darwinists and another set of facts when speaking with skeptics of Darwinism.

The very fact that witnesses are complaining that they would have testified differently had they known the perspective of the documentary demonstrates the very need of the journalist not to reveal his or her perspective in order to get unbiased testimony.


Stephen J. said...

Normally I agree with most of what I read here but I do have to point out there is another side to this. Knowing the bias of your interviewer may not change the facts of what you tell him, but it can affect very strongly how you present those facts.

As any practiced teacher or debater can tell you, the assumptions about how many basic postulates the listener already shares with you profoundly affects how you develop and present your argument in ways that have nothing to do with honesty or deception. If you assume your listener takes the same things for granted that you do, you can leave yourself open to easy, cheap, and dishonest "after-the-fact" shots that undermine your point without actually disproving it; if you know your listener or interview is hostile to your basic thesis, you will be better prepared to "show your work" in your answer and make it harder for someone to selectively edit you to your disadvantage.

In short, it's not about an admission of dishonesty on their parts, but a quite reasonably justified resentment that a presumption of honesty on the interviewers' parts was exploited to their disadvantage. Too many journalists and filmmakers don't really want unbiased testimony; they want testimony that can be easily edited to appear biased as they wish it to be.

Matteo said...

Point taken, although this is a topic on which it would be darned near impossible to get any cooperation from most academics if they realized that they weren't speaking for yet another pro-Darwin puff piece. The impression I get from watching the trailer is that Darwin himself is treated with respect and a kind of affection, and that the real question is whether current evidence supports the great insights and hypotheses he made 150 years ago. As such, I don't think the historians will be made to look stupid or be misrepresented.

What would be bad is if the historians refused any cooperation with anyone who believes Darwin might have been in error, which it seems would have been a highly likely outcome had they been informed of the intent of the film.