Thursday, April 30, 2009

Expelled Rant

It feels a little self indulgent to whine and complain in public, but I don't think I'm the first person with a blog to vent. So here I am crying, "OMG someone wasn't nice to me on the internet."

I'm facebook friends with some people I went to school with, but who I don't know that well. For some reason this last week I got several status updates and associated comments appreciating the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. The timing is kind of strange since the theatrical release was over a year ago and the DVD was released last October. In the interest of full disclosure I admit I haven't seen the movie and I'm not sure I will. I do feel like I have a pretty good idea of the content from reading many blogs and reviews, including opinions from several of the people interviewed for the movie and from reputable mainstream sources like Scientific American, Roger Ebert and the New York Times. I'm also aware of some of the entertaining events that occurred at a screening. Anyway, back to the story . . . As I normally do when encounter some Expelled love, I posted a link to Expelled Exposed. Nothing more. A person that I don't know but somehow connected in the facebook universe replies with:
Seriously. Every thinking person should watch this film. Here is a pretty good collection of rebuttals to Expelled Exposed:
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/02/expelled_exposed_exposed_your.html

While it really wasn't anything to get excited about, I resent the baseless assertion that I am not a thinking person. I may not be a thinking person, but that is not evidence by the fact that I don't agree with this stranger's appreciation for dishonest and inflammatory film making. I did not reply, but I did go to the link provided to see the 'refutation' of Expelled Exposed. What do I find? Casey Luskin. Oh well, at least now I know which of the two of us debaters has bothered
to learn a little something about science.

End of rant. Hopefully both my readers will help my fragile ego and tell me I'm really not an unthinking Darwin worshiping Nazi so I can regain my confidence and carry on the good fight for good science.

6 comments:

Tim said...

Well, they didn't say that every thinking person should have already seen this movie. Perhaps they were just recommending it to you because they could tell you are a thinking person and will want to see it. It does seem like an exceptionally mild statement as far as internet flaming goes. I think I may have been meaner to you right here on your own blog. Why did it get to you so much in this case?

Herb said...

Jeff,

When you're ready to start thinking, I'll offer you some sympathy and support. In the meantime carry on your excellent work as an unthinking Darwin-worshiping Nazi.

Iron Soul said...

Tim
I'm not sure why I was motivated to write about this. It was indeed mild. Maybe I just wanted an excuse for another post. Maybe what bothered me was it wasn't a forum for discussion like here on a blog where we can go back and forth. Maybe because I know you I felt like you were making statements in good faith and I wasn't as willing to concede that to a stranger. I in no way think I was harshly treated. I just wanted to complain.

Lori said...

I would say it bothers you because it represents the reality of how it is with so many people in your life that you actually DO care about!

Reverted said...

So... I just finished watching Expelled. (In a way other than paying for it, which I refuse to do. I'd recommend you do the same, if possible; borrow it, check it out from a library, or whatever else. Don't give them a dime.)

The movie is one of the most insidious films I've ever seen. It is positively SATURATED with a mixture of lies, fallacies, Godwin's Law, false implications and false "taking the high road", pretend equivalences and inappropriate associations between ideas, and much more.

It is also highly schizophrenic--as is the ID movement, generally--in that it can't quite seem to present a clear message with regards to ID vs gods. Much of the movie whines that ID is NOT tied into religion, and NOT associated with gods, and so it's not fair to characterize it as such. But then, most of the rest of the movie seeks to directly associate "Darwinism" (and science, more broadly) with atheism, Stalin, the Nazis and Hitler, and spends a fair amount of time talking about ethics and God-as-creator, and so forth. It sometimes resorts to ridiculous mocking tactics, including absurd clips and sound effects (like with regards to panspermia, where "aliens did it" is mocked in a truly childish way; nevermind that aliens are the ONLY alternative to gods I've ever heard even feebly (and disingenuously) offered by the **ID** people for "the designer"). In fact, the last half of the movie was one big appeal to emotion that was entirely irrelevant to the supposed topic being addressed.

Then again, I guess that to a large degree the whole movie could be characterized as an appeal to emotion. There were two or three tiny sections that were alright. But, almost the entire movie was truly despicable, dishonest, and inconsistent.

Nevertheless, I think it is rather likely to have the desired effect upon many viewers, because it preys upon their ignorance of the issues (yet another deplorable thing about the film). It seems to me to largely be just a whole lot of "preaching to the choir" through the tried-and-true approach of "lying for the Lord".

It certainly makes for an, uh... 'interesting' viewing when one already knows something about the issues being 'presented'.

(I had started writing a full review of the film, which I was writing as I watched it. But, I was already up to a page or two by the time I was only 10 minutes into the film! lol So, I stopped that, and I just watched.)

Iron Soul said...

thanks for the report. I haven't read anything different from anything I'd consider a reliable source. I'll have to see if the local library stocks a copy in case I feel masochistic.