Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His Servant?

Ang again ‘EXPELLED”

A few weeks ago I wrote a brief post about the upcoming documentary of Ben Stein: “Expelled”. Today I ran into an interesting blog which discusses the participation of Dawkins to a screening of this movie. The blog also has some useful links to more info about “Expelled.” It is interesting (though not surprising) that the blog got many hateful and obscene comments (which were wisely not approved by the host: Jeffrey Overstreet). See the post here:

http://lookingcloser.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/richard-dawkins-crashes-the-party-at-a-screening-of-expelled/

It seems from the debate that some of the scientists interviewed were misled about the purpose of the movie etc. This is certainly wrong and unfortunate. However – I am wondering if the answers that they give in the interviews would have changed (or would have had to change) if the purpose of the movie is different? I think that the purpose of a movie should be irrelevant to the answers that I give to a question – as long as the question and answer are placed in the right context and are not misinterpreted. Isn’t that true?

P.S. For a response where “Ruloff explains how interviews were obtained with top Darwinists including Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers, and dispels claims that trickery and deception were used” – see

http://www.idthefuture.com/2007/08/nothing_up_his_sleeve_executiv.html

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16 responses

  1. Jeremy

    “I think that the purpose of a movie should be irrelevant to the answers that I give to a question – as long as the question and answer are placed in the right context and are not misinterpreted. Isn’t that true?”

    I think the point is that they would not have agreed to the interview if they knew the purpose of the film.

    March 22, 2008 at 2:35 am

  2. I see and I understand. Thanks for the clarification. Still – it seems to me(from what I have read and listened to) that they were NOT misled. They simply did not bother to inquire enough about the movie before they gave their comments. In any case – it seems that the statements that they make in this documentary are not new – their positions on these questions are rather well documented (and some appear on their blogs?).

    March 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm

  3. onein6billion

    The web domain “expelledthemovie.com” was purchased two months before the interviews. The producers claimed the film would be named “Crossroads” – with an entirely different viewpoint from the actual viewpoint.

    “it seems that the statements that they make in this documentary are not new”

    True. But if someone records an hour or two of “candid” tape and then picks and chooses exactly what to put in the movie, …

    Dawkins is shown admitting that life on Earth could have been placed here by “space aliens”. Ben Stein seems to think this is “laughable”. But “intelligent design” proponents have also proposed that their designer could have been “space aliens”. They were hoping to get around the separation of church and state issue.

    So, if it’s taken out of context, it might seem laughable. And, knowing the actual viewpoint of this movie, Dawkins might have refused to be interviewed or he might have been much more careful about what he said.

    One person who was interviewed could not be pressed into saying anything that could be made to look foolish – so he does not appear in the film.

    “as the question and answer are placed in the right context”

    Ah, there’s the rub. If you were Dawkins and you knew their viewpoint, would you trust them to place your answers in the right context? I thought not.

    April 14, 2008 at 3:25 am

  4. Mark – I will start with your last message. I am not sure if those guys deceived Myers and Dawkins (I listened to Mathis’ explanation), but I agree with you that they would not have participated if the knew how the film would turn out. I must say – however – that I do not think that Mathis knew how the movie would turn out either, and the movie has to do with science, religion etc.

    Again – I think that most of what Dawkins and Myers say is already published by them in other places (Myers is actually more agressive than this in some of his writings). However – I agree with you that the point with space aliens does not represent Dawkins’ position and it was twisted. I hope they take that part out from the final cut!!!

    In any case – if more deception can be shown from the producers of the movie – shame on them, and I hope that they take care of those problems.

    April 15, 2008 at 1:39 pm

  5. onein6billion

    Apparently the latest revelation is that Ben Stein admits that he knew all about the theme of the movie when he was first asked about starring in the movie two years ago. And he stated a couple of months ago that the movie should have had the title “From Darwin to Hitler”. Do you wonder why I am so hostile?

    April 16, 2008 at 1:00 pm

  6. Did I say that you are hostile?? I am sorry if I did.

    Mark – we probably disagree on the issue of Darwin and Hitler. I am not saying that there is a direct connection between Darwin and Hitler, but it is a rather well known indirect connection between them. The issues of culture and influences on a culture is fairly complex and good arguments can be made from both sides (no connection with Darwin, some connection etc.).

    There is almost no doubt in my mind that there is at least an indirect connection. Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton (based on Darwin’s theories) started the idea of eugenics which was picked up later by the Nazis…this is rather well documented.

    Now – does that mean that Darwin would have approved “social Darwinism” and other developments that followed directly or indirectly from his theory? I do not know.

    The point is that ideas have consequences which many times we do not (cannot) predict. That is why it is important to think well about coming up with new ideas/theories about the basics of life (and other issues), and one has to consider the possible consequences of those theories.

    April 16, 2008 at 3:42 pm

  7. onein6billion

    Expelled Exposed is now in operation.

    http://www.expelledexposed.com/

    April 16, 2008 at 9:34 pm

  8. onein6billion

    “Did I say that you are hostile?”

    No, but I admit that I am hostile towards this movie.

    “The point is that ideas have consequences”

    Therefore some ideas should be suppressed? Perhaps nuclear fission/fusion theory? We wouldn’t want anyone creating a bomb from these ideas, would we? Not even nuclear power plants? Einstein led to Hiroshima?

    But it’s not like no one else was going to discover “evolution”. Darwin failed to publish for 20 years until it was clear that others were about to publish. Darwin knew that heredity had to be a critical factor, but there was no way for him to know the details of the DNA genetic code.

    April 17, 2008 at 3:59 am

  9. Honestly – if I knew that fission/fusion would lead to the atomic bomb…I would have supressed it 🙂

    However – the analogy is NOT adequate. Nuclear fission is not an idea that explains the origin of life (or any other important question for human beings). It simply deals with the atom…Einstein led to Hiroshima?

    Of course he did. Was it directly? NO. In fact – I believe it was the maker of the AK-47 who said that if he knew where this would lead…he would have become a janitor (actually I cannot remember what he said that he would have become). And I believe that Einstein regreted his role in the atomic bomb too…toward the end of his life (?). Of course – it would have been a lot worse if the Russians got it first…

    April 18, 2008 at 12:32 pm

  10. onein6billion

    “Nuclear fission is not an idea that explains the origin of life (or any other important question for human beings).”

    Well, human beings are facing “global warming” and a decreasing oil supply. Perhaps nuclear fission power plants are soon going to become an important question.

    But it would seem that the “origin of life” is a real philosophical sticking point. As I have said a few times before, this is abiogenesis, not evolution. So some people can accept evolution and not abiogenesis. Others have to reject both. After a few weeks on another blog, the author finally stated that evolution was religiously unacceptable. So this certainly justifies the war of religion against the science of evolution.

    April 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm

  11. onein6billion

    Copied from elsewhere:

    “We live here, where the religious insecurity of a scientifically illiterate populace is being twisted by people who certainly know better.” – Maryann Johanson on Expelled:No Intelligence Allowed in the Colorado Springs Independent Online Edition

    April 18, 2008 at 6:51 pm

  12. IS she sure that these people know better? Maybe, maybe not!

    April 22, 2008 at 10:03 am

  13. onein6billion

    As repeated many times elsewhere – are they ignorant, stupid, or mendacious? Their “claims” against evolution have been refuted many times and they continue to repeat them without changing a thing. ID was ruled “not science” by the Dover judge and their main complaint was that he copied all of the claims of the scientists’ lawyers when he agreed with them. And now ICR wants to claim that they are actually going to teach evolution. Who are they trying to fool? The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board? Perhaps. There will be “public testimony” tomorrow.

    April 22, 2008 at 10:47 pm

  14. So what if some court has ruled ID not science? I am not that familiar with ID, but if ID simply states that what is created was created by an intelligent mind (whether by ‘creation’ or evolution) how can that be proved or disproved in a lab??

    If someone is a theistic evolutionist (hence believes in INTELLIGENT design and creation – an intelligence is behind creation), how can that be proved or disproved by a court (or even by a scientist)? A theistic evolutionist looks at the same data, but believes that God created through evolution (He guided the process). Hence he believes in “intelligent design.”

    Can that BELIEF be proven wrong? I doubt it. Of course – one is most likely not able to ‘prove’ that right either.

    In any case – for a good lecture (given at U Penn) on the existence of God, I recommend this lecture by Tom Keller: here.

    April 23, 2008 at 8:42 am

  15. onein6billion

    “So what if some court has ruled ID not science?”

    The judge took 6 weeks of testimony before making his decision. Can you think of a better way to reach a decision?

    “Hence he believes in “intelligent design.””

    You don’t have the proper definition of “intelligent design”. Remember – the primary purpose of creationism (and intelligent design) is to deny the Theory of Evolution. “Theistic evolution” does not try to do that.

    “I recommend this lecture by Tom Keller: here.”

    “It takes more faith to disbelieve in a god that it does to believe in a god.”

    Of course I find this “argument” to be silly. But I’m not trying to “disprove” a god. I’m simply saying that there is no evidence of a god. So, unlike his claim that it has to be intellectual, personal, and social, I’m just sticking to intellectual agnosticism. A god seems to be completely unnecessary.

    The Commissioner advised the Board to turn down ICR’s request. The Board will vote tomorrow. Then ICR will sue. Creationism loses again.

    April 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm

  16. I see. In any case – thanks for listening to Keller’s lecture. I do believe that it was very good, despite the fact that it did not convince you.

    I am sorry – but I do not know anything about ICR and the issue. However – may the truth prevail.

    Blessings and grace,
    Chris

    April 25, 2008 at 12:30 am

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